"What matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And without the love of Jesus, everything else is useless." St. John Paul II
++++++++++++++++++++God's timing is not our timing, but He is never late.++++++++++++++++++++
Layers - in the knowledge of God and the path to holiness
Learning about God is like unwrapping a head of lettuce, pealing back one leaf at a time. Always there is another leaf below. We will eventually reach the center of the head of lettuce; but we will never unwrap everthing there is to know about God.
The path to holiness is like pealing an onion. God shows us what is sinful and convicts us that we have sinned. No matter how sweet the onion, there are always tears in the peeling. No matter how sweet the grace of repentence, there are always the pain of letting go of the sin. As the peeling of the onion reveals another layer, so God shows us what we lack in holiness, drawing us ever closer to "be(ing) perfect even just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48
What I Believe
Why I am and always will be a Catholic. "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Tthe living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." John 6:53-58 The words and actions of man cannot sanctify. Only the priest, empowered by his ordination, can invoke the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine into Jesus so we can receive Him - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into our bodies and souls. This is the core of the Catholic Church; without this there is no purpose or meaning to the Catholic Church. There are other ways to holiness, to grow in grace; there is no better way than union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
“Father forgive them, (for) they knew not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Jesus said these words during his final agony on the Cross. The officials, the soldiers, the people who screamed to crucify Him maybe had some sense that they were killing an innocent man, but they had no idea of just what their actions involved. Neither can we. Our minds just cannot comprehend what is God or His workings. In a like manner, though, Jesus’ words apply to all of us. Can any of us fully understand the effects of our actions on another person? Ignoring someone may seem to be a trivial slight on our part, but may result in deeply wounding the other person’s sense of self-worth. We know not what we do. Likewise, in the times that we have been hurt by other people, they may be totally unaware of what they did. Closeness to God gives us sensitivity in our relations with other people. It helps us to recognize when we are not acting out of love. Since we cannot be the other person, though, we cannot know the full impact of our words or action; but God knows, and we will be held accountable. Ann Landers or Abbie suggested that Good Friday should be a day of forgiveness. Whether the person has asked for forgiveness or not, we need to have an attitude of forgiveness for that person. Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who put Him up on the Cross (including all of us). Can we not be expected to do likewise? In the Our Father we say “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It does not say “those who ask our forgiveness.” To forgive frees our souls from the anger, bitterness, regret, all of the negative responses we have to being hurt.
Throughout our lives, as we encounter many joys and sorrows, because we are as humans social creatures, we turn to out anchors, family, friends, co-workers. We too often neglect our relationship with the ultimate anchor, God. We change jobs so we lose the anchor of co-workers. Friends may not be there for you because of time or distance. Family may be experiencing the same trouble so cannot be an anchor for you. The only one who can always be counted on is God. But, how can we turn to God if we largely ignore Him in our lives? He is always there ready to enfold us in His love. However, on our part, we may find it difficult to lean on Him if we do not usually include Him in our lives. Imagine calling a friend with whom you haven’t spoken or written to in many years and telling them of a great trial you are going through. It would be awkward at the very least. So it would be with God, on our part. If we wait to be with Him only in times of great need, we will have trouble leaning on Him, listening to Him, accepting His peace and graces. The Church, in its wisdom from being part of the Body of Christ, has required us to maintain a minimal contact with God by saying that is a serious sin if we neglect to worship God once a week through Mass on Sundays. The Mass-where we are compelled to be social, unlike private prayer, to be a member of the communion of saints. The Mass-where we are nourished with the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, compared to a meal with family or friends. The Mass-where we can lay our petitions and thanks before God in union with all in heaven and on earth. The Mass-where we off to God the ultimate form of worship, Jesus on the Cross. The Mass-heaven on earth.