Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Can God Get Close to You?

I've studied the spiritual life, looked at my relationship with God through many years, under many circumstance. I'm just a plain old ordinary man, uncomplicated trying to make sense of the world. That's truly it, nothing more than that pursuit at this time in my life. The few things that I've learned about the mystery of God is that to really encounter Him, in a manner in which you can grow and listen to Him, you have to develop what I call a spiritual life. I think a good analogy would be someone who is an outdoor person. A person who spends a great deal of time outdoors, could be farming, hunting, fishing, trail walking, gardening etc. That person becomes attuned to the external world, he or she becomes sensitive to the small nuances of the the things in nature. The breeze, or stillness of the air, moisture, the angle of the sun, coolness and warmth, the sounds of birds, insects, the ground as you walk. There is a heightened awareness of these things that is missing from an indoor person. Today unfortunately we have many more indoor persons than outdoor persons. In the spiritual life, it is absolutely necessary to understand two things, first silence is an absolute necessity and material attractions prevent the inner self to loose itself. God is always present, but in our quiet meditative persona or state, we can find the course that leads us to Him. To me God and more specifically Jesus, the 2nd Person of the Trinity is the source for understanding the world, the means to figuring things out. The thing to figure out is what happens after my last breath comes out. That's it if you are not in a state conducive to seeking and finding God (if you are in a state of mortal sin, this becomes extremely difficult), God will not become close to you, not because He can't but because you won't let Him.                                              

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Silent Night

I haven't written a post in this blog since last April when Pope Benedict XVI decided to step down and the conclave had started. Many were surprised at Pope Francis election, he has since demonstrated his very Christ-like imitation in his service to the poor and outcasts of society. He has called on all Christians to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ and identifies evangelization as the center of the Church's concern. I am fond of Pope Francis and see his work not in a radically different direction but rather a synthesis of the philosophy of Pope John Paul II, the theology of Pope Benedict XVI. It is in knowing God, through reason and expounding on his mysteries that we encounter Jesus Christ, who then "lives within us." The title of the post "Silent Night" has for me several different themes: the song itself evokes the wonder, and awe and splendor of a silent night, when God mysteriously enters, yes Christmas is getting near, but I think we should focus on that cold, silent and still night and what is about to happen, why it is about to happen, and why it happened to you and me, focus on it on a very personal level. The other theme of Silent Night is the silence of a world that has shut the door on God. A world that is super materialistic, self absorbed, shallow and superficial. A silent night where church pews are empty, where immorality, violence and sensual pleasure take precedence. A silent night where the pursuit of power and money leaves no room for charity and even less room for God. Yet another theme is the silent night for those living in poverty, the voices that fall silent to the world. Finally, there is a silent night, one that at times is dreadful, as we make our spiritual journey realizing how great sinners we are. The night is still and dark as we await the only real hope we have. We need as Jesus tells us" to stay awake," to hang in there, to turn away from evil, immorality, and turn towards good, findind a place to prepare in our heart for Christ the Savior.