Our Lady and Sheen

Crazy, stupid in love.

Today, I was leading a small group in a bible study, focusing on Luke 15:11-33, or the parable of the Prodigal Son, or lost son(s).  I was explaining to those who were so gracious to listen to me ramble on that in Jewish culture there were so many things that would have been scandalous to the listeners of the parable.  First, the younger son tells the father that he, basically, wants to treat him like he’s dead, he wants his inheritance and he wants to leave home and forget his life.  Then, the younger son goes to a foreign land (read sin and depravity) to take part in sin and depravity.  He ends up starving working with pigs, the most unclean of the unclean, it is now beyond belief.  Packing himself up, as we all know, he goes home, practicing his apology along the way.

Then, beyond all belief to the listeners of the story, the father, regal man that he is, RUNS to his son when he sees him far off.  An older man, head of the household, runs to his son that he had obviously been watching for all of this time.  He makes a fool out of himself to show his love for his son. He  embarrasses himself to bring his son back under his protection and family.  He throws a party and everyone comes.  The prim and proper society members must have been shocked, how could this father who was so insulted treat his son like he was doing.

Because God is, in human terms, crazy, stupid in love with us.  Obviously, God’s Love is perfect, so we can’t really say crazy or stupid, but what we can say is that we only really understand even a part of God’s desire for us when we are crazy, stupid in love.  We get that feeling about a person, and we do not care what any one else thinks or says, we don’t even know what we’re saying some of the time.   God’s love, in this instance, takes the form of the “I will be the fool in love with you, please let me!”

Anyway, I thought I would share that sometimes life will let us get a small glimpse of how God feels all the time.

Next time, I promise, something much more deep!

God love you!

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September 23, 2010 Posted by | Random Stuff | | 1 Comment

Love and working.

I have a new song that I really enjoy.  I know that I love the chorus, or part of it.  It’s by the Sidewalk Prophets, entitled “You Can Have Me.”

So often, as Catholics, we are told that we believe we have to earn our way into Heaven, instead of just accepting the Grace that saves (salvific Grace, for the Catholic term).  But I was listening to this song, and it seems that they describe the Catholic understanding of good works in conjunction with faith perfectly.

The one line from the chorus is, “When did love become unmoving? and when did love become unconsuming?”

It’s an absolutely beautiful image.  I know that when I have friends whom I am very close to, I want to do things for them.  Not because they will pay me back, but because of the relationship.  If it’s a guy, I want to really challenge them to be better men, and I want them to do that to me.  I want to know that they love me enough to want me to be the best man that I can be, and I want them to be the best men that they can be.

When it comes to girls, I tend to lean more towards the chivalrous nature.  Even within that context of friendship, I want them to know that I love them deeply, because I love them, not for the benefit of the relationship.  I go out of my way to make them smile, feel good about themselves, open doors, the whole nine yards as much as possible.

In the same way, the God of the universe created us and loves each of us infinitely and goes out of his way to open doors, or pull out chairs, or challenge us to be better, or whatever analogy you would like to know, because he desires us in heaven with Him for all eternity (see Baltimore Catechism, lesson 1, question 3 if you need more).  Why does God do all of these things for us?  Because, in the under-educated layman’s terms, the infinite love that He has inspires Him to purely, out of love.

Additionally, if God loves us to the point where He willingly does all things for us and so that we may have life to the fullest, are we to say that we love God and then sit down on our couch and never call, or see each other.  No!

What then are these works that we do, is it out of an obligation to “earn our way into heaven?”  No.  The works that we perform are inspired by the Charity (think faith, hope and love) that is given to us by God to perform for our fellow man.  James 2:14-26, a teaching that can be as hard for some as John 6, is the goal of our Love for God.  It is to reach out with all our heart to the fellow man, first to inspire him to have his soul saved, and secondly to take care of him corporally. 

These are the works of which we sometimes forget are required.  There are consequences to failing to perform these works, and there is Heaven or Hell for all eternity to content with:

And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.  Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink?  And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. (Matt 25:31-46)

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment