Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From October 2nd, 2011 Bulletin)

The Stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone…

     Jesus, the Son of God, was rejected by the religious authorities of His day. The one who could best build the faith of God’s people was considered an imposter and killed for His claim to be “I AM”, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The chief priests and elders couldn’t fathom a God who is three persons, a community of love; nor could they believe the Son in this Trinity would visit them at that time.

     We, too, can fall short in our faith that God is truly with us and for us. Our lives can be encumbered by beliefs about our world and ourselves that are not true.  We can be bombarded by messages throughout the day that do not reflect the truth of God’s love for us, or of His goodness. As Catholics we must work against this tendency with real commitment to the truth and intentional immersion in it each day.

     The Scriptures are a crucial source of truth to keep us growing closer to God. The Word of God orients us and reorients us in the right direction. One of the skills I learned in Boy Scouts was how to use a map and compass to find a particular location. They would have field trials and contests where our team had to find certain clues and landmarks using a compass and a map.

     I think it’s a fair analogy to call the Bible our map. It shows the general truth about where things are, the reality of how life is and how to negotiate it, where the pitfalls are, and what goals we might want to achieve. If one watches the needle on a compass, it’s fascinating to see it be directed by an invisible magnetic force coming from the North Pole. We also carry within us an inner compass, the Holy Spirit, who, along with the gift of reason, is orientated towards the truth.

     We were made for God. If I may repeat dear Augustine’s timeless truth here, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” He goes on to write:

Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved Thee! For behold Thou wert within me, and I outside; and I sought Thee outside and in my unloveliness fell upon those lovely things that Thou hast made. Thou wert with me and I was not with Thee. I was kept from Thee by those things, yet had they not been in Thee, they would not have been at all. Thou didst call and cry to me and break open my deafness: and Thou didst send forth Thy beams and shone upon me and chased away my blindness: Thou didst breathe fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and do now pant for Thee: I tasted Thee, and now hunger and thirst for Thee: Thou didst touch me, and I have burned for Thy peace.  (Confessions, Book Ten, xxvii)

God is within us. He is our cornerstone and provides the compass that directs us to build our lives on Him. Remember the psalm, “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain does the builder labor.” Let us build on Jesus, the cornerstone of our lives.

St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.

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