Wednesday, December 16, 2009
While driving to Mass this morning I began to consider how I could become more like Christ in my day to day life. I would like to share some thoughts from my perspective. The more I comprehend the beauty and truth of Catholicism, the stronger my faith is. As God has designed things there is always opposing forces that sway like a pendulum, and even in the case of my faith there is no exception. I view the entire world, nay the entire universe from my Catholicism. I am guided by the Church's liturgical year. Advent means preparing for the coming of Christ, it does not mean Christmas shopping, Christmas trees, Christmas parties, or Christmas cards. I do participate in all of the above and by all means enjoy them, but they are on the peripheral; some I derive no pleasure from some (shopping) others bring a certain measure of joy. During Lent my focus is on deepening my spiritual life by self examination, fasting, walking the road to Calvary in trying to share emotionally in Christ's suffering and death. I rejoice in the Risen Christ at Easter and enjoy the ordinary things in Ordinary time. My faith in Christ is the center of my life. The danger of this devotion is that I would participate in my Catholic universe to the exclusion of others. others who a) are Catholics, b) Christians, c) Non-Believers. That would be living a lie, "for it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me." This is a real challenge for me because I do not get excited by things that are important to the secular world. As I meditated on this, the thought struck me; that I must not go through the motions when it concerns the secular belief of others, but rather I must see God's presence in each and every situation. I was in the check-out line and I noticed that the woman in front of me was purchasing Alvin and the Chipmunks video and CD. She had forgotten something and asked if was alright if she left and went and got it. I told her no problem, and when she came back I said, " anybody who listens to Alvin and the Chipmunks, can't be all that bad." She laughed and went on her way. Not a big deal, but I think what is important is to notice others and to consider them more important than you. This goes to the entire spectrum of my behavior; from not complaining when wronged, to looking for the good in each and every person. The message of Christ is a message of hope to everybody. This goes back to what I wrote about a couple of days ago with respect to how do you know you are discerning the Holy Spirit. It will reveal itself when you become more Christlike.The pendulum must not be off too far in one direction. We must all caution not to see ourselves as the Pharisee who thanked God that he wasn't like everybody else. It is in humility that God's grace finds its way to your heart. The world needs us, we who true followers of Christ, not because we are something special, on the contrary because we are regular people who can bring Christ (the Truth) to regular people, who are hurting, sometimes very messed up, addicted to sin and the pleasures of the world, empty and devoid of real love, abused and lonely, lost sheep. They are not outside of us, nor are they beyond the realm of God's mercy and love. We are Christ's eyes and ears, hands and feet to all we encounter.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 1:35 PM