Monday, October 15, 2012

Introspection or If God Looked In

Friends of Faith:

If God looked into me what would he see?
I have often said that what I write each week is really an introspection of my own, an examination of my own conscious. (And as usual I continue to be amazed by the “coincidence” of the Sunday gospel readings as they pertain to these introspections.)
I cannot write without seeing inside myself, without seeing my own inability to change the things about myself that from the “outside” look or seem to contradict the very things I write.
In one of those “wide awake” nights this weekend I wrote the following: “Sometimes we have to answer the tough questions and make tough choices, but often times it is not the choosing that is difficult but rather executing those choices. And our choices are these:  right or wrong, good or evil, heaven or hell, saint or sinner.
Only God can know me (and your) personal inner struggles, in our thoughts and in our prayers, as we seek to continually face the challenges which will allow the Spirit of God (our conscious) to guide us and change us for Him.
I am pretty sure, for some, my writings sometimes seem like a “bull in YOUR china closet;” meaning the ideas they contain seem to try to beat you, or break the very ideas that you hold nearest and dearest to your own heart.
It is humanly difficult to “break” or have “broken” a sin of the past by the Spirit who gives us the gifts of wisdom, understanding and awe at God’s greatest desire for our lives—to remain the innocent child he created.
I am also reminded with an ever growing humility, that I have been given something many others have not, and that is the gift of a great husband, a great friend. It is a gift to know that not only does Stan pray for me, but he is equally committed to God’s ultimate goal for us. We are blessed with joy in our marriage, and to share the knowledge that our intentions for each other are “right” and that we are willing to serve and be served by each other, for life, freely and faithfully. (This is God’s design for marriage.)
So, I pray, with the hope of God, that you understand where my writing comes from—not from a desire to change you, but from my own introspection, my own experience, my own sins and my own struggles to choose God—every time. It comes from a desire to change myself, so that I will be as He designed me to be—created in His likeness, a holy child of God.
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother." He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Mk 10: 17-22
I do have one other desire and that is that every one of us would share heaven together.
Yet God’s own words this Sunday pointed out: Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Mk 10:23-25
God did not say it would be easy to be human, because as humans we are sinners.
I know that I will often be challenged, emotionally and spiritually, with the failings of culture and our society.  And I struggle in my writings to contain my patience, anger and judgment of others. But I also know that I must become what I believe and that I am called to share my beliefs. (Blessed Pope John Paul II, The New Evangelization)
Therefore, my introspections are often challenging: a growing realization that I have been given unique gifts, and that I must use these gifts; but the more I use them, the more I am challenged by them: to change the wrongs in myself, before I point out the wrongs of others.
And of course this creates the challenge that I may be ostracized for sharing my thoughts, just as many of God’s followers were outcast.
So it is with great hope I continue Mark’s gospel: “They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." Mk 10: 26-27
So here is my abbreviated and concentrated short examination of conscious (and long prayer) for myself this week—
God blesses me with an abundance of food: I choose to be healthy. Help me not eat everything I see, but instead to seek His true food, the Eucharist, at every opportunity.
God blesses me with an abundance of earthly wealth: I choose to be humble and thankful, making my decisions based on WWJD and not about money or gain for myself. Help me to give up control and seek opportunities for others without a “pat on the back” for giving away my time and treasures.
God blesses me with the opportunity to attend church: I choose to put God’s time first. Help me to focus on prayer and see church time as a privilege and an opportunity rather than as an obligation.
God blesses me with a talent to write: I choose to write about how God’s teachings influence my religious conscious, with the prayer that God’s voice in life and death issues will be heard above the culture of materialism. Help me to be guided and protected by the Spirit, and help my words to be charitable and tolerant. May I always write faithfully on God’s design for marriage (one man and one woman) and in expressing the need to vote for the protection of innocent, voiceless children and the freedom to make decisions based on my religious conscience. Amen.
“I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.” Wis 7:7-11
May my own introspection guide you to see God’s Spirit in your life this week,
Blessings and thanksgiving for each of you who hear my heart,


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