…to me life is Christ…
St. Paul is one who experienced a total eclipse of Christ taking over his life. Jesus is all he could see. As Paul says elsewhere, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) This is the goal of Christian life. It runs con-trary to the excess of self-affirmation current in our culture. Self-esteem can be important, but not to the exclusion of the real work of God in the soul. I believe John the Baptist probably had a healthy sense of self-esteem, yet he would say, “I must decrease and He must increase.” Same in our soul, Christ must increase, and we must decrease.
The first place we carry out this transformation whereby Christ takes over our souls is in the Holy Mass. This does not mean that He steals our will and intellect making us like robots. No, He actually elevates them to a place of true freedom where we, with faith and reason together, freely give ourselves over to the beautiful gift of love that God has for us. We see this docility in all the saints, but even in Jesus Himself as He surrenders Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus still had free will when He said, “If it be Thy will Father, take this cup from me. But nevertheless, Thy will be done.”
This same Jesus waits to give Himself completely to us in a surrender like the one He gave to the Father. Of course, He gave Himself over to death, according to the Father’s will, so that we might be able to receive His sacrifice, even His Body and Blood. When we receive the Holy Eucharist, we receive His self-giving love, His sacrificial love, and we become givers like Him. We can even say that He is giving Himself to others through us along with our own personal sacrifice of self. This is the joy of beatitude, to be poor of spirit, freely becoming Christ for others. Life becomes Christ and the fullness of His life, death and resurrection lives within us.
There were several beautiful stories available on the internet related to 9/11 including these:
The story of “14 Cows for America” at: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/10/remembering-911-an-unexpected-gift- to-america/; as well as the story of Cheryl McGuinness that I used in my homily at: www.cbn.com/700club/guests/bios/cheryl_mcguinness_090904.aspx
Let us pray for peace.
What is Catholic Christianity?
“Are you envious because I am generous?” In our society, fairness is often valued higher than generosity. How fair is it in this gospel for the landowner to compensate equally those who work less than those who labored all day? When we come to God, his favorable response to us is not measured on when we come to him but only that we finally do. All are welcome. This kind of gospel message which might seem obscure in our daily lives is typical food for thought and discussion at RCIA. If you are a non-Catholic who wonders about our Church’s teaching, come and find out what the Catholic Church has to offer. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-631-1940 x104 for details.
September 23rd, Memorial of St. Padre Pio
A Prayer for Trust and Confidence in God's Mercy by St. Pio of Pietrelcina
O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence
and trust in Your divine mercy,and the courage to accept
the crosses and sufferings
which bring immense goodness
to our souls and that of Your Church.
Help us to love You
with a pure and contrite heart,
and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross,
as we climb the mountain of holiness,
carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
May we receive You
with great faith and love in Holy Communion,
and allow You to act in us as You desire
for your greater glory.
O Jesus, most adorable Heart
and eternal fountain of Divine Love,
may our prayer find favor before
the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.