Monday, November 9, 2009

What Incredible Love Is This?

Man was created for God. How do we know this? God told us. In fact the whole of history from our very beginning is this continuation of the creation. This mystery of God's love and how he can bring us home safely. We are part of the whole, longing to return to the ocean of the divine. The only thing that deters us from that journey is our selves. That is precisely why Jesus explained that it is necessary that we die to ourselves. Not a physical death, no, we are to slay the attachment of our being to the the things of the world. It is not because the natural world is somehow inherently evil. All things emanate from God who is ultimate perfection and thus ultimate goodness. God uses the natural world to impart his grace. St. Ignatius says

"God freely created us so that we might know, love, and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever. God's purpose in creating us is to draw forth from us a response of love and service here on earth, so that we may attain our goal of everlasting happiness with him in heaven. All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully. As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created things hinder our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go."

Jesus is referring to attachments that hinder you from knowing him and thus hinder you from knowing the Father. These things will deter you from your journey back.

The problem with secular thought is that it has no end game. How can you make a journey anywhere without stating your final destination? Who will argue that life is not a journey? You start out in total dependence of someone. This trust is pure and true. It only becomes corrupt as we progress in the world. The time comes when we have choice as to who to trust. All too often we choose ourselves. The world says that's ok, be independent, don't rely on others, certainly not on a God you can't see or hear.

There is a way of seeing or hearing that is not easily recognizable to our human reason. That is why the message must be received divinely through means that God chooses. We communicate through words and pictures, God communicates using people and human history. That is the whole point of Sacred Scripture, to identify how God is communicating to us.

He told us how much he loved us when he sent his only begotten Son. What is more natural than a little baby? Growing and learning from an infant to a young boy, surrounded by the natural world, then finally a man. Jesus told many parables using things of the world, unless a seed dies, the fig tree, the seed thrown on fertile ground, the mustard seed, the lost sheep. In his first miracle at his Mother's request, he changed water to wine. All things found in our natural world.

He did not want us to be without this connection to the natural world. He left us his Word, Sacred Scripture, but he also left us something real and tangible within the physical world. What could possibly be "a gift of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully", that would be the most perfect thing in the natural world? What was the most perfect thing that ever existed in the natural world but Christ himself. The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, & divinity of Jesus Christ. What are body & blood if not real tangible physical things within the realm of nature. God so much wants us to return to him, he has gone to extraordinary measures to get us there. What incredible love is this! He is near us! We are so close. The world did not recognize him as John says in his Gospel. The world still doesn't recognize him, but we do.

1 comment:

Miss Maria said...

Paul,

Amen! I truly enjoyed reading this! How true it is indeed, we were created to Love Him! Amazing love! We have to let go of all attachments and give ourselves to Him as He gave Himself up for us. You just can't find a more pure love than that. Thank you for posting this. I really do enjoy reading your blog.

Peace be with you,
Maria