Broken? ~ Stanza III ~ Part II
For the earth is not our homeland,
but a testing ground of faith.
Ever onward You implore us,
as You fill us with Your Grace.
“The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this:
“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelations 3:15-16)
These are not words I want to hear directed at me! Especially not coming from the mouth of my Lord and Savior. Just a few sentences later he says:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door , [then] I will enter his house and dine with him and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20)
When we say these words during Mass, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”, I see in my mind’s eye, the image of Jesus knocking, even though I know that the words come from Matthew 8:8.
Jesus knocks. The God who made us, becomes one of us, not as a mighty king, already full grown, which He certainly could have chosen to do, but as an infant. He who needs no one – God is perfect and He has no need of anything – makes Himself dependent on His creatures. God asks for Mary’s consent. He asks for ours, too. Never, ever, will God violate our free will. He stands next to us, watching and waiting for us to turn to Him, ready and desiring to give us every grace we need. Even the desire to turn to Him is a grace, but we must take action to activate the grace. We must make the decision to give God our consent, and then do so.
It is NOT enough to simply be good people. I was always stumped as to what to say when people brought this up. There are a lot of people in the world who are good. They work hard, pay their taxes, help their neighbors, etc., but they don’t go to church. This doesn’t prove that God isn’t necessary! It shows that goodness is coded into our DNA, it’s a part of us – God’s law written into our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33) – that will guide our choices unless circumstances kill it – like growing up in an abusive or terrorist home might do. I must also mention original sin here because we have all inherited this from our first parents, and sin (pride, vanity, hypocrisy, etc.), resides in “good people”. (Romans 6:12-23)
To achieve any kind of goal, the appropriate type of training and preparation must be made.
Think about this for a minute. How likely would we be to win a decathlon (physical event), if all we did to prepare was to read, study, and watch others who had won the event (mental preparation)? Or, do you think we would get that nice high-paying job in the field of technology (mental work), without ever taking a course or studying the field, but rather spent a lot of time thinking about it as we jogged or worked out (physical preparation)?
The same is true of the spiritual life. We cannot (normally), attain a supernatural end (heaven), through purely natural means (being a good person).
This is how God set it up. He gives us every grace we need to attain heaven (spiritual home). We need only put those graces to use through prayer and following the guidelines He put in place for our good and protection (spiritual preparation).
Grab that grace!! We can record our successes and other special moments from our spiritual journey in a journal or scrapbook, cherish them, and go back to them when the world, our struggles and burdens threaten to overwhelm us. This is gathering; it’s a way to remember all the good things the Lord has done for us, and it can be incredibly helpful even years later.
Love & Prayers,
This post is part of a series. The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here -link- once they have been published.
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