Why (and How) To Keep Converting
We know that God gives us all good things, that he wants to give us more, and will as soon as we are able to receive it. The question is: what holds us back?
– Tagged "Faith"
The sign of God’s continued pursuit of us in our sin is our stricken conscience. This is a gift from Him, and as with all gifts, we are meant to return them to Him. The psalms tell us that God will not reject a contrite heart, and we can trust that this is because He gave it to us, just as he sent His Son “while we were yet sinners”.
I learned fancy french terms like “pas du chat” (which means “step of the cat”), how to turn without getting dizzy, and that actual ballerinas have to be really, really strong. Some more complicated jumps and turns took my days of practice to achieve correctly. Even after a lot of practice, I probably looked less-than-graceful. But the simplest concepts, like standing with proper form, proved to be a lesson all their own, too.
It’s a common saying around St. Isidore’s that in the church, the reward for good work is always more work. If you agree to help move chairs or set up for Mass, for example, there’s a real chance you may end up being asked to do that job next week as well. This seems to be a function of being as large and as much of an “all hands” type of endeavor as the Church: We rely on those able to serve being generous with those gifts.
Pray without seasoning. This idea has been cooking (pun intended) in my mind for a while, but prayer is such a personal thing, that I hesitate to write much about it. However, I realized that is precisely why I want to share these thoughts with you. Prayer is a unique experience for everyone and it does not follow a one-size-fits-all mold. We should have the freedom to pray in the ways that we are most aware of God and of His movements.
Have you ever thought about what the first Christians were doing in the period between the Ascension and Pentecost, or what you would do in their place? It’s a fascinating exercise, to be confronted with the question “Christ is alive, what are you gonna do about it?”
The words of the risen Christ to Mary Magdalene echo through the centuries into my own heart. Mary’s faith was strong and her friendship with Jesus was fierce. She had learned, over years of companionship with Jesus and His disciples, how to be in deep friendship with the Lord. I’m guessing they shared inside jokes and that she knew how to make Him belly laugh. She could probably recognize His footsteps and tell when He was feeling tired. Mary knew the living Christ, and she knew Him well. She was one of the few to stand at the foot of the cross in His last hours. Even to the end, Mary was prepared to give of her deepest self to the Lord.
At every Mass, we cry out with the people of Jerusalem. We sing the same words with the angels and the saints during the liturgy of the Eucharist as we proclaim, “Hosanna in the highest!”
It’s pretty easy to understand the word “hosanna” as a hymn of praise for a king. It accompanies Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and it is the sound of a people acknowledging their Lord. The word expresses the magnitude of Christ’s strength, power, and sovereignty.
Despite landing on a Friday in the middle of Lent, today is a day of celebration throughout the Catholic Church, when we are not only allowed but expected to shake off our Lenten disciplines and celebrate. So, while I understand if you want to walk away now and break those fasts, I wanted to take this space to explain why it is that we feel St. Joseph is so worth celebrating, beyond the obvious reasons.
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