Saturday, March 18, 2017

If You but knew the Grace of God

St. Thomas Moore taught that one grows in wisdom by meditating on one or more of the four last things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.  Whether this meditation is constant or sporadically intentional isn't nearly as important as simply doing it.  Of these four which do you find more drawn to for the purposes of your own spiritual considerations?

Wisdom is knowing what things are for; knowing their final cause or ultimate purpose.  Wisdom allows one to see the true value of something and does not add nor subtract from that precise value.  It sees reality and the things contained in reality as God does.  God is Wisdom and our destiny - should we choose to accept it - is to be caught up in His Divine Wisdom forever catching His eternal perspective.

What will allow you to focus on the true value of things?  Would the fact of your impending, inescapable death do that? How about the intervention of judgment over your life after you die; will imagining that experience cause you to change your ways?  What about the excitement of Heaven? The horrors of final and irrevocable loss in Hell? What will shock you into clairvoyant attention to what matters most and what doesn't matter after all? 

Don't close your eyes to things yet unseen.  Wisdom goes beyond the immediate and incorporates into the present that which is inevitable: The Four Last Things.  We all will die, be judged, and end up in Heaven or Hell.   Lent is a good time to seek clarity of sight.  We need the lense of God's Wisdom to lift us above our petty pursuits in order that we might "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 3:14)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lenten Check-In... Don't Give Up Early

Lent can be hard.  We make all sorts of commitments and resolutions for positive change.  And then we accidentally eat bacon on the first Friday of Lent and we think it's all over (I didn't do that btw... Not this Lent anyway..)

"Lent is a time when you really feel like a Christian" a Priest said to me recently.  I think he means that there is something intrinsic to being a Christian that involves sacrifice; giving up certain pleasures for the sake of a greater good.  What greater good are you going after this Lent?  If you've struggled in these first few days with your Lenten commitment that is ok.  Just start over and recommit.  That, too, is what Christianity is all about.  Fresh starts - whenever we need them.  A clean slate is available to you even now.

So visit confession this weekend.  Go often and grow.  Pray more and love better this Lent.  You can do this because you're not alone.  You're in this Lenten "training season" with hundreds of millions of other Catholics around the world.  God is with you.  Ask Him to encourage you and to help you make your commitments to Him.  He's worth the effort and He will help you in the fight.  

"The Lord is a warrior. LORD is His name." (Exodus 15:3)

Let Him fight with you this Lent.  Don't give up.