A few years ago, I had a student who, while not Catholic, was taking a theology class. She expressed to the class a desire to become Catholic, once her parents permitted her to do so. Her peers, as a whole, were shocked.
“Why would you ever choose to become Catholic?!” they asked in disbelief.
These students were thinking of the rules of the Church, I am certain. They were mulling over how we need to make sacrifices (particularly at Lent), how we have to go to Mass on Sunday, how we have to confess our sins to a priest, and the list goes on.
They were thinking of rules; I think she was thinking of life.
If we haven’t encountered Christ or if we have forgotten the encounter(s), we are quick to view life as a series of following God’s commands. It is simply something we ought to do because it is asked of us. Yet the commands the Lord gives are meant to give life. They aren’t hoops to jump through but are instead a path to an abundant, rich life.
Just the other day, a man in prison was talking about how his perception of a family member has completely changed. Before, this man considered the relative a “Jesus freak” and found it hard to swallow when seeing the person post Scripture passages or encourage him to go to church. Now? I’m not quite certain what happened in between, but the man ended up in prison and that changed his perspective by giving him time to really see how his life was going. He said now this relative is the only one he wants to spend time with when he gets out of prison. Instead of annoying, he sees this person’s life as something he wants for himself. This person’s joy, relationships, and success–all of it showed him that life in the Lord can change you. What is more: he desired the change that he witnessed in another.
Continue reading “A Life in Christ is a New Life”
At times we simply grow accustomed to the sinister euphemisms that are found in our world. They make life more comfortable when we have a pleasant way to say something awful.
One of my students just turned in a parental permission form for going to pray in a park and also in front of Planned Parenthood later in the semester. Those words struck me as if I had never seen them, let alone be the one to write them: Planned Parenthood.
One would read those words and, if one didn’t know any better, would assume birth takes place there. A birth might take place there but it is entirely accidental. Nobody goes to Planned Parenthood to actually walk out a parent cradling a child. The idea it presents is that you are to only become a parent if you plan to be one. Part of the trouble (or gift–matter of perspective) is that by the time Planned Parenthood is “needed” the person is most likely already a parent.
As I looked at those two little words—so innocent on their own—I wanted to say that it was unfair. They shouldn’t be allowed to use those words, to speak those lies, to shove that myth down the throats of the unsuspecting and vulnerable. But of course—that is why those chose it. It is built on a foundation of lies. And do you know what happens with that kind of foundation? Jesus does.
“Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Lk. 6: 47-49)
The days of pernicious lies are numbered. In the end, everything will be tested and what is not of the Lord, will fall. And the ruin will be great.