Archive | March, 2016

Rise to Freedom, Joy

17 Mar

man in praise

The Church proclaims in prayer:

          “Oh, Lord, unwearied is your love for us.”

We should never tire of contemplating that divine, unending love which brings us to life, forgives our sins, nourishes us with the Word and the Eucharist—that love which promises us an eternity with God and all the saints.

In Christ, we rise to freedom—freedom from fear, unending and unhealthy guilt, hopelessness and separateness.

In Christ, we abandon worries, cling to hope; we learn to cope with sorrows and loneliness; we do not let the world’s troubles lead us to hatred and depression. Rather, we cling to our Lord, to his promise to be with us and to give us wisdom to understand how his will is accomplished in us. He gives us strength to bear even with the unbearable.

We live in that freedom known only to the sons and daughters of God.

We rise to purpose—the call of Christ Jesus to witness the Father’s love to everyone in our lives; the call to share our faith in salvation through the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord.

We are to become a living Gospel, the kind of person and people who love as Jesus loves, forgive as God forgives, and repair with love the wounds caused by illness, injustice, poverty, and ignorance.

We rise to the recognition of the fundamental purpose to which Christ calls us—together to be his faithful presence in our everyday world, and to shine with hope.

We rise to joy—the joy that overcomes pain and discouragement because we know our God, because we walk together in the Lord and because the Lord lives in us and for us.

Joy in God is the root of compassion. If we are not joyful, how can we hope to help others come to know Jesus as the way, the truth and the life?

Joy is contagious. So are sour dispositions, doubting hearts and resentful spirits.

I know people whose lives beam with joy and with hope—some of whom live with deep suffering. It’s so wonderful to be in their presence.

Our freedom, purpose and joy have their source in the resurrection of our Lord. As St. Paul reminds us:

“And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty too, your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).

 

 

 

 

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Repent, Repent! It’s Lent, It’s Lent!

4 Mar

The Cross of Christ calling multitudes to salvation, calling you and me, calling our family. Givng us identity, continuity. Letting us help God in making and remaking sociiety into an image of his Kingdom.

To help us overcome sin, our Church urges us to continue our traditional Lenten practices of fast, abstinence and prayer.

We are also asked to eliminate bad behavior and replace it with the opposite good.

For example, you may frequently fall into great moments of anger and resentment. You are asked to confess your faults and to repent by making the effort to be patient and kind to those who have hurt and angered you.

We are all called to become ever more deeply in love with Jesus Christ, to love him so deeply that we are eager to do precisely what he wants us to do—to love as he loved, to heal the sick, clothe the naked and feed the poor.

We must become true disciples of our Lord.

A hard truth

You can intellectually assent to the humanity and divinity of Christ and to his miracles, and still not be a disciple. You can pray every day and never miss Mass and you can be kind to people and still fall short of being a committed disciple.

What does it mean, then, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

It means you accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life; you seek the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit; you at last surrender completely to God. You become clay in his hands, you let him melt you and mold you. You listen to him in the silence and depth of your heart.

A committed disciple

with whom you form a Christian cell of faith with your children.

So how do you do this?

  • You ask God to reveal himself to you. You set aside a sacred time for deeper communion with God—and that’s what prayer really is.
  • You reAs a committed disciple, you embrace the Gospel and the authentic teachings of the Church. You live the faith at work, at home, and in down time. It means you love your spouse flect on Sacred Scripture—especially on the readings for the coming Sunday. You may do well to discuss them with family and friends.
  • You frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation and you open yourself more and more to the great mystery and reality of the Mass. You join a responsible and authentically Catholic Scripture study group.

If you do this, you will begin to fall ever more deeply in love with God. He won’t be up there somewhere, but in your heart—and in every relationship and facet of your life.

Then you will be able to do what Jesus did—and what he wants you to do.