The Mystery Of Faith....
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:24).
The history of theology is a reflection of the truth revealed by God. Catholic doctrine is beliefs or teachings with traditions and devotions that are offered for our practice of the faith. The Christian story of salvation history is filled with paradox and mystery. G. K. Chesterton called paradox “truth standing on her head to get attention.” God is seeking our help to promote real truth.
Actual paradox is not “either this or that,” but “both this and that;” it is contrast, not contradiction. The duplicity in today’s society is hard to comprehend. If hypocrisy was one of the seven deadly sins, then sincerity would be the virtue. “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
More than 2,000 years of Church history have blessed us with examples of holy men and women who help us understand the power of the mysteries and sacraments in the Church. The valued knowledge of our culture is in science and technology. Jesus mourns the absence of our interest in a deeper spiritual knowledge. Do people really know who God is, what He has done for us, and that He loves us? Everyone has gifts that others need to grow in faith and love. The Church is a community of believers. “The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers” (Acts 2:42). The meal we share every Sunday at the Eucharistic table is a perfect expression of faith.
Our hearts hunger for more; do not confuse joy with pleasure. The things of life that provide happiness are short-lived. Christian joy offers an everlasting gift. In the relativism practiced today people accept the idea that if it feels good it is the right thing to do. Saint John Paul II said, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
The greatest obstacle to a joyful life is sin because it separates us from God. No one talks about sin or the consequences for fear it may offend someone. Our concept of sacrifice and suffering is flawed. There is no better example of redemptive suffering than the Paschal Mystery of Christ. On Feb. 11, 1984, Pope John Paul II addressed the “Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, Salvific doloris.” In his Papacy, we witnessed pain and suffering as he taught us to embrace the cross with his own trials.
On Jan. 9, 2018, Indiana Democratic State Representative Matt Pierce from Bloomington introduced House Bill 1156 into legislation. The bill would legalize assisted suicide, which has come under fire by Catholic and pro-life groups. Currently, six states and the District of Columbia have legalized assisted suicide. The faith we profess must be lived!
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction,” wrote Benedict XVI wrote in his first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” (God Is Love!).
Our culture is quickly being redefined with great irony. On Jan. 15, 2018, we honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of human rights. Then, on Jan. 19, more than 100,000 people marched in support of all human life – from conception to natural death – in Washington, D.C.
“If you want peace, work for justice, if you want justice, defend life, if you want life, embrace truth” (Saint John Paul II). Amen!