Pray for your priests. It is a beautiful life. It is a sacrifice worth making. But know as surely that I need your prayers as you are guaranteed mine. And that together, we stand as a sign for each other. To direct our thoughts and our works toward those of God and His will, toward that reward in His grace, which this world cannot give.
My parents had a room in the basement that was the play room. And that’s the room where all the toys were put and where the worst of the chaos was wrought…. And occasionally we’d be sent to this place, not to play, but to clean up… but after 2 or 3 hours of “cleaning up” ah, at which point we had clearly forgotten what we were there for… Somebody would step on somebody else’s toes or something of that sort… and a fight would break out. A voice would come from upstairs: “What are you doing down there?” And the worst answer was: “Nothin!” because that was not the purpose. We were not put to this to do ‘nothin’ and I think of that in our daily examine how often, when we ask the question “what are you doing?” what are you doing in there? What are you doing with your time? What are you doing with this precious gift of life that you’ve been given? What are you doing with your attention, your patience, your charity? What a thing to answer back: “Nothin!” “Not getting into any trouble.” We’re here to do more than just not get into any trouble…. Jesus Christ did not take upon flesh and suffer and die for us simply to get us out of hell.
When I was a younger man, pursuing honestly a very different sort of life, there was a girl. Let’s be honest – when I was a boy there was a girl. … There was on my part the willingness even to do things out of the ordinary. To do special things for her sake, but the real deeds of love just weren’t there. That willingness to put aside what I want, to put aside me for the sake of someone else, just wasn’t there. As much as I thought it was, or wanted it to be. When it came to actually making the choices and doing the works, it wasn’t happening. I guess I had some growing up to do, certainly. But also a lot to learn about what it really meant to use that word ‘love’ it its – in a sense deep enough to warrant that ring and a date and a ceremony and everything else that was going to follow. … The realization that, that love has consequences, and that there are choices that follow. If love is real. I’m working on it.
When Peter and James and John are stunned by this appearance of Jesus in His glory with Moses and Elijah, they want to hang on to it and Peter says, “Lord, its good we are here. Let’s build three tents so that we might stay here and everything will be glorious and beautiful.” But Jesus brings them down from the mountain because there is the cross yet to be had. To be carried and to be born.
We, like Peter, need to learn to see with the eyes of faith. To behold His glory when the world doesn’t see it. Because there is the glory and grace at work in loving the unlovable, in serving the ungrateful and forgiving the unforgivable. This is the strange thing about being a Christian, because we serve a King who reigns from a cross. We serve a Master who came, not to be served, but to serve. To give His life in ransom for many. Because we are called to live in imitation of One Who loved us while we were still in sin, and gave His life for us while we were still far from Him.
The one consistent theme [of CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce] is: that thing which I will not give to God – no matter how big or how small – may become that thing that keeps me from Him. …
That one thing can become that one thing that is lacking because God does not want just that we should follow the rules. The rules are good, and particularly from the very natural and basic level of the Ten Commandments on, because they lead us to understand God and His creation.
… God is not after just a tally sheet: has she kept the rules, has he been basically good. He’s after us. You and me. This is the radical thing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That God wants to draw us into His own life, and have that life, which we receive in Baptism and experience in the grace of the sacraments, that life which is shared and spread in the works of mercy and generosity and kindness; that life of God that is meant to be poured out into the world. That’s what God wants for you and for me.
Let’s take a look at that silly question about whose wife is whose. … Marriage reflects one of the highest orders of human relationships. This is the complementary relationship – one man and one woman dedicating themselves to each other, unconditionally, exclusively and for life. The human desires that this institution brings to fulfillment are recorded in the poetry of the ages. … Jesus is pointing out the fulfillment of our human destiny. Of our divine destiny in the promise of the resurrection.