Monday, March 17, 2014


Friends of Faith:
I like “definition,” to know right from wrong. I like black and white—not grey, to know that 2 plus 2 always equals 4.

And the laws of the Church have definition: good and evil, or sin and death, or discipline and life.
But faith in Christ is both, and, – it is both head and heart; both law and compassion; both the grace of faith and works because of the grace of faith. It is both Word and Tradition.

I am instructed to pray for my enemies, and to serve the person I love. I am justified in the good works I do BECAUSE I have faith (there is sacrifice in doing for others AHEAD of my own needs). And I am instructed to embrace BOTH the written Word AND the Tradition (example) that Christ intended for me to witness. Sometimes the rules are both black and white—AND the rules always make sense in the light of Christ’s ministry and life.
“And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Mt 17: 2-4

I am transformed by staying connected to the obedience of BOTH the Law of Moses AND having the Spirit of Elijah. My connection to prayer AND fasting; listening AND witnessing; believing AND acting on my belief is what transforms me.
To have one without the other will give us the grace of faith, but no one to share it with, no one to be connected with. There is no such thing as a community of one—only if I live to give others life can there BE life. I can be the example of Christ without being Christ, but I cannot be like Christ without doing something for Christ.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” Js 2: 14-26
I won’t truly be able to abide by the law, without being led by the Spirit. I am asked to be connected by grace AND justified by the thoughts, words and actions which reflect that grace.

It is the reason we have priests and the single life—so that they will reflect  for us the visible sign of Christ AND marriages—so that thru a marriage which is open to new life we will have a visible sign of a Christian community (the domestic church), a family. Both vocations serve the other AND both vocations give love to the other.
It is the reason we are connected and transfigured by BOTH His death AND His Resurrection.

“May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, And the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand” ― Irish Blessing
Faith is connected—to BOTH AND: To Christ, to the path of His road, to the words in the silence of the winds, to the warmth of the “son” and to the healing in the tears of the rain.

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