Saturday, February 5, 2011

Settling For Less

Jesus said many things about Himself while He dwelt among us as a human being. One statement in particular stands out to me: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). It's such a powerful statement. Christ is telling us that we will find eternal life through His way, which is truth. And He set up His one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church on earth to show us the truth, guided by the Holy Spirit.

But the fact of the matter Catholic Christians, while the Truth leads us home, it also sets us apart from the world.
The fact of the matter is that not everyone has opened themselves up enough (us Catholics included) to allow God to fully work his Truth into our lives. The fact of the matter is that the Truth demands a lot of me, of you, of all of us, and sometimes we fail to see how much we are called to be. Some Truths that are lost on us:

People are good, and are always capable of having patience, humility, selflessness, if only they ask for grace.

People are bodies made in the image of God, and so their gift of sexuality should be respected.

Purity and chastity is possible, and needed.

The kind of language you use does matter.

Drinking to get drunk is wrong.

Everything needs to be done in moderation, and we should have a correct order of things. God first.

Sexual intercourse doesn't just involve something we do - it involves who we are. Keep it sacred, intimate, and in marriage.

Exposing yourself to certain music, tv shows, and movies can cheapen the value of people. Stay holy, and work towards being holier.

Honestly, if we were to follow all of the above - and there are tons more than what I've listed - we would find ourselves to be free from all things that could keep us from loving God and others with our entire being (this isn't me saying all this - it's the Church). But I've found that there isn't enough accountabiity going around. We go half way, say "oh that's alright, it's just this once", and let people off the hook. We need to have love, but have it in truth. Caritas in Veritate.

C.S. Lewis says it best in his book The Weight of Glory:

"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Obviously, this isn't to say that we should never be happy with where we are. Christ wants us to have Him in mind in the present, and to "rejoice always" (1 Thesselonians 5:16). But we are also called to look to heaven and to THE ultimate happiness and joy. Too often, we want to find joy, so we drink excessively. We want to feel loved, and so we give way to desires of immodest dress and actions. We want to not feel at all, and so we surround ourselves with noise.

But God is calling all of us to so much more than all of this! We are too easily pleased! And if we were to only take our heads out of the sand and look up, we would see the Truth: that we have been settling for less.

We're called to be more than we think we are.

No comments:

Post a Comment