Monday, January 25, 2010

Twin Pillars of Faith

Women of Faith:

In order for a tree to survive it must have roots. In order for us to survive WE must have roots. Just as there is only ONE God, One Body, there are and should be multiple parts “rooting” that Body, feeding that Body, “holding” the Body together.

“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
“Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body, “it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body, “it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you, …so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.
1 Cor 12:12-30

That is why we have faith and works; scripture and tradition; and the sacrament of the Word and the sacrament of the Eucharist. Without each of these “twin pillars” the other cannot survive.

Each of us has our strengths, some of us read more, some of us pray, and some of us serve. But the Twin Pillars, the Eucharist and the Word, must be our strongest roots. Our roots must be balanced and strong so that our branches do not bend and break, so that our entire tree is fed.

Each of us is also affected by other’s beliefs, by the trees around us. Just as if one tree, one person gets sick, others will catch those illnesses or diseases, so too if we spend time around someone whose moral values are not based in God, whose Truths are not based on God’s Truths, we too, will become ill and diseased along with them. The roots of truth and morals are those that will hold up at the end of time (the last tree standing) and are based on Jesus’ life as told in the Bible and as passed on thru the tradition of the Church.

But if we ignore these roots, if we pass laws not based on biblical truths and traditions (like legalizing abortion, same sex marriage, adultery, and living together before marriage), it is like planting ourselves in poor and diseased soil; soil lacking God’s nutrients. Then we will grow weak, we will start to lean, we will become diseased into believing that we can live without water, without nourishment, without Truth. We will have become diseased by society, by other men, by those around us, just as we would if someone had a contagious disease.

A tree with only one root will quickly fall, or bend and break. This is why the Truth in the bible, instructs us to pray for each other and to love each other. If we only love ourselves, if we only pray for ourselves, if we only care for ourselves, if we are selfishly one, then we will not have the benefit of the forest, the benefits of sustaining each other, and protecting each other, of dividing the sorrow and doubling the joy, of being one body in Christ.

Likewise, if we only have faith, but do nothing to serve, if we do nothing to bring others to Christ or help others to see Christ working; or if we have only Scripture, but not the Eucharist, we will also grow weak.

And finally, if we only have scripture without the meal, if we listen only to the Truth, but never receive nourishment, if we have roots that are never fed, or if we attend mass only to receive the Eucharist and don’t listen to the Word or put the Word into practice, the second pillar of our faith, the other roots of our life are weakened and without each other will crumble and fall.

Do I have all of my roots firmly in place? Am I balanced with more than one root? Do I have my bible at home, off the shelf, somewhere so that I regularly read it and don’t just listen to it once a week at church? Do I pray regularly, and for someone other than myself? Do I attend mass so that I get fed by the Eucharist regularly? Do I serve, by bringing others to Christ, and/or by helping those who need my part (my talent) in the one body? Which of my roots is weak and needs strengthened?

Dear God, Help me to be balanced. To seek your twin pillars. To not be like a man who is missing a part of his body. Help me to be firmly planted in your Truth, to read the bible regularly, to be watered; and to attend mass regularly so that I may be fed your life sustaining body and blood. Thank you for giving me strong roots, to not lean with the winds of society, and for knowing your Truth. Amen.

Blessings, Charlotte

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