Saturday, October 25, 2008

Heaven's Patient, Loving Glance

As one who qualifies as a curmudgeon on several different fronts (yet who clings to youthful dreams of chivalry like ragged King Pellinor), I continue to run to Mother Church for grace, succor, and glimpses of beauty.

Many persons for whom I feel concern and love do not seem to have the common horse sense that we human beings are puny; they do not have an immediate, innate awareness of truth or what is good for us and others, and, are generally something just short of blithering idiots. These go blithely through life - I'm reminded of the boiling frog analogy - not feeling a thrill of fear/contempt/revulsion for the horrors of abortion and infanticide that heaven's gaze, too, must both hate and pity.

I heard Father Paul Scalia say yesterday at the Arlington Diocese Catholic Educators' Institute, if the Pharisees set the bar unrealistically high in terms of external behavior and prohibitions, our day's Christians across the board set the bar too low. "I'm good enough. I went to Mass this week, that's enough. I paid my pledge. I prayed a Rosary. I went to the parish meeting." Both the Pharisee and our approaches presuppose that WE save ourselves through our actions. But we don't. Jesus Christ alone can bridge the gap between our fallen human nature and heaven's entrance. He and his grace provides eternal life in and through our human nature and human being.

Our chivalric task is to participate not through a "good enough" effort but through our best and finest and noblest efforts of faith, morals, strength, hope, and charity to follow Him by means of the unique gifts and grace imbued in us by our Maker. This is our calling, our Vocation, and every single human being has such a Vocation. Our flaws and concupiscience are not the norm; they are elements of deviancy from our true human being, made imago dei.

So, regardless of the outcome of any election, regardless of events and tumult swirling in and around us, follow Him, hokey as that may seem. Where else shall you go - when cancer appears, when the accident happens, when the overdose occurs, when old age and infirmity finally catch up, when death takes one you never thought could die, when you realize that you set the bar far too low and the life and faith you could and should have been living was wasted and you find yourself in a far country ...
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"

Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
The quickest way back to the you you should be is repentance. The Church Jesus gave us offers reconciliation and sacramental grace to start over. Clean. Forgiven. Good to go.

Heaven's glance is love. And divine, patient waiting. What's stopping you? What are you waiting for? You have free will. But you do have a dead line. Best get going. God speed.

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