Monday, November 3, 2014

Spirit Alive

Friends of Faith:

It seems appropriate that we gained an hour yesterday – an extra hour as nature changes seasons to allow ourselves time to adjust to a new temperature and climate—to remain naturally alive.
I often wonder what would happen if we truly allowed ourselves to live and change in our daily lives as nature does: if we more closely followed God’s design for life – coming to life, living fully, winding down and sleeping—morning, noon, evening and night—spring, summer, fall and winter— birth, childhood, adulthood and death.

It is human to want to take control of nature, to try to form it into some fashion that better suits my own purpose. Instead I should daily pray that God will be and remain my controlling force so that I will do his will rather than my own.
The recent Synod on the Family allowed us to see the Church alive—as it educated itself and sought wisdom and understanding within God’s nature. ‘The work of the synod focused on “the desire to strengthen and reinvigorate the pastoral practice of the church.”’ Its purpose is not and was not to change Church teaching, but to brainstorm Christ’s message in today’s current culture and to find ways to better evangelize Christ’s message to all.

The Synod showed that the Church does not sleep but remains vigilant and alive to protect us within a world of individualism, materialism and relativism, while understanding Christ’s message of healing and mercy for each of us in our human sin and weakness.
Concerning times and seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night….For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. Those who sleep go to sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do. 1 Thes 5: 1-11

I have heard lately the terms “pagans in the pews” and“spirits outside the doors of the Church.” This is what each of us could become if we do not stay “fully alive” by seeking education and constant conversion from Scripture and His Church, from never going into or beyond the church door. It is not enough to just say we are Christian, it is not enough to go to church only when we can or only when we “have to,” and it is not enough to just soak it in without any intention to live it and share it, because Christ calls us to be more – to be Spirit Alive!
As Paul taught the early Christians we are to remain vigilant and ready. While nature may seem to want to let us go to sleep, even in rest there is a restoration and growth. Faith, conversion and evangelization should never fall completely asleep and just like the Synod of Bishops we too should instead seek continuous education for a deeper understanding of Christ’s message through His Church’s teaching of that message.

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace. Amen
And I offer an additional prayer for each of us as we participate by voting tomorrow:

Heavenly Father, May we abide by your control, forming our conscience not for our own benefits but for yours, and for the greatest good of all those around us—protecting every life and seeking liberty, not necessarily equality, but dignity for all. May those we elect strive to do your will not theirs, to strive for truth and peace so that justice may be given freely to all. Amen.
May I not be complacent in my faith, but rather seek further learning and understanding in His name,

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