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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Stay With Me Here

I just taught the RCIA class for the church in the neighborhood, [The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the church of His Excellency, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson? That one?--ed.] and fair enough, this parish church is pretty notable. But we talked about the "Last Things"--death, judgment, resurrection, Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell--and it got me thinking. Always dangerous, I know. If I think about "faithfulness to the end" or however we like to say it, it's too big. It's too big, and I'm too small. But if I start with right now--and think of all the truth you can pack into a moment, a thought--Jesus loves me and died for me, the Father wants me for His child, the Holy Spirit is my Helper and Teacher, now we're on to something. Granted, I may die before I finish this post. But more than likely, life will go on, and I will face the reality of my weakness and sin. The great challenge of the spiritual life may be the more obvious pride: "I have no faults! I am wonderful! Everyone should know this!" or something much more subtle: "I am dirt, and worse than dirt. No one should love me, or forgive me anything, least of all God." In either case, we are wrong.

The shadows of our sins discourage us, but in the end, they are shadows. If we have any strength in this moment, any encouragement, let's give thanks to God, because the love that calls us upward to Him has never dimmed. Even in the darkness of sin. True, error may threaten to keep us from knowing it, but that truth will not be altered. We only hope and pray for hearts open to receive that love. And to do whatever He asks in order to be reconciled. As long as we tell the truth, and let God tell the truth about us, there is nothing to fear from speaking of the tenderness of God.

The glory of the saints is that they turned their entire lives into an extended moment of walking in the light of Christ, of basking in God's tenderness and mercy.

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