We cannot find our security here in this world. In our relationship with the things of this world, we must remember that they are temporal and passing. We must base our lives on everlasting realities, on eternal life. But the presence of God in us must lead us to transform this world according to the Kingdom of God. Living our faith does not mean forgetting about daily life, on the contrary, the presence of God in our lives must transform everything around us.
There is a great difference between a soul in the state of grace and a soul in sin. The difference is abysmal; it’s greater than the distance between a soul in the state of grace and a soul in Heaven. Grace is the beginning of glory, for what you now possess in the state of grace is what you will have in Heaven. Only that, here we live by faith and in Heaven the realities of the faith will be visible. Heaven begins here. When you are in the state of grace, Heaven is in you.
It has been said that the Garden of Gethsemane is the heart of the passion and the passion of the heart. The Lord is not undergoing physical suffering but primarily spiritual suffering. We must try to enter into the heart of Jesus, His interior suffering, into the human heart of a divine person. His infinite love and His infinite suffering are difficult for us to understand. Judas will betray him, Peter will deny Him, His disciples will abandon Him, and this is the cause of His pain and sadness. He knows what is He is about to undergo, the Son of God is going to take all the sins of humanity upon His shoulders.
God is searching for you, thirsting for you, for a relationship with you in prayer. Prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we might thirst for Him. Prayer is a gift from God. We cannot pray by ourselves, we need the grace of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that humility is the foundation of prayer; we cannot be demanding of God. As St. Augustine says, “Man is a beggar before God.” And this should be our attitude, to be a beggar before God, to realize that He is passing by us, and to call out to Him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
The transmission of the faith not only brings light to men and women in every place; it travels through time, passing from one generation to another. Because faith is born of an encounter which takes place in history and lights up our journey through time, it must be passed on in every age. It is through an unbroken chain of witnesses that we come to see the face of Jesus. But how is this possible? How can we be certain, after all these centuries, that we have encountered the "real Jesus"? Were we merely isolated individuals, were our starting point simply our own individual ego seeking in itself the basis of absolutely sure knowledge, a certainty of this sort would be impossible. I cannot possibly verify for myself something which happened so long ago. But this is not the only way we attain knowledge. Faith’s past, that act of Jesus’ love which brought new life to the world, comes down to us through the memory of others — witnesses — and is kept alive in that one remembering subject which is the Church (Lumen Fidei, 38)
If love needs truth, truth also needs love. Love and truth are inseparable. Without love, truth becomes cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives. The truth we seek, the truth that gives meaning to our journey through life, enlightens us whenever we are touched by love. One who loves realizes that love is an experience of truth, that it opens our eyes to see reality in a new way, in union with the beloved. In this sense, Saint Gregory the Great could write that "amor ipse notitia est", love is itself a kind of knowledge possessed of its own logic. It is a relational way of viewing the world, which then becomes a form of shared knowledge, vision through the eyes of another and a shared vision of all that exists. (Lumen Fidei, 27)
There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time. (Lumen Fidei, 4)
What is our attitude? What is our attitude as Christians to the mystery, to this Easter celebration? How am I celebrating it? What’s going on inside of me? Not so much the exterior, the parties and the fireworks, which are all good, but not so much what’s going on outside—what’s going on inside of me today? Am I erupting with joy? Am I seeking Him? Am I enraptured by the fact that He has risen, that He has delivered me from my sins, from death, from possible condemnation? Has the reality of Christ crucified really penetrated into my heart?
Jesus tells his disciples to cast their nets again, and they make a great catch, as you know, because Jesus is with them. They are acting out of love and out of obedience. When Jesus is with us, He can do in one second with His grace and with His power what we haven’t been able to do in many years. We can apply that to our spiritual life. We can try for many, many years to overcome our defects, our sins, out attachments, but when we try to work by ourselves, it is useless. But Jesus, in one second, can change everything!
Mary Zoe Bowden comments Benedict XVI's Verbum Domini:
God spoke the world into existence; God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And if you take this concept of God speaking the world into existence, and then you put it together with the other concept in Genesis that says, “God creates us in His image,” you come to the recognition that God created us as Word. God is “Logos” (Word), and we, too, are an image of that Logos. We are God´s Word in a very interesting way. That means that when I look at each and every one of you, I should be seeing a bunch of little “logoi,” a bunch of little “God´s words,” running around out there. And think about how that changes your world. Think about how that changes the way you see people.
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Dúo Santa Cecilia (St. Cecilia Duo) sang I Prefer Paradise as a tribute to Sr. Clare on the third anniversary of her death.