Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Do We Have "The Master Theory"?

Yeah, man. We are RIGHT!
"Christianity" or "Catholicism"... 

In the end, is it just another "ism"? Is it just another theory, perhaps the Master Theory, but in the end nothing but a system for fixing and organizing the world? Or is it simply the case that, in the contest in which people make competing claims about the meaning of life, my group makes the right ones? In the end, everyone will see that our Party is the Party of God. We will win at last!!! Huh?

But Jesus did not come for this; He brings so much more than any "ism" that could be domesticated by human thinking or justify the self-exaltation of particular human beings or groups. Jesus did not come to bring us "the official ideology approved by God." This would not be enough for us -- for the implacable desire for the fullness of life that we each carry around inside us.

It is very easy to think of Christianity as a bunch of stuff we have to do (or not do), because God and the Church say so, but if we think this way, we will find ourselves trying to negotiate and integrate this rather burdensome collection of stuff into our lives. We need to ask ourselves, "Is this how I try to live my faith? Is this how I present it to others?"

The rest of the world often views Christianity as a collection of external rules that more or less interfere with real life, that is, with the aspect of life that interests and engages us as persons. What a grim business! No wonder people are not attracted to it.

I must beware that I do not allow this kind of moralism to become my own view of Christianity. I must remember that Christianity is a new life, a supernatural life, a life of communion with God. In Jesus, God Himself came into history, so that He might share His life with us. The life that Jesus offers us fulfills and transforms our hearts. This is what is interesting.

Through baptism, I have been given a participation in the Divine life, and through grace this life grows within me and transforms me. God gives Himself to me; He draws me into a personal relationship with Himself; He leads me to my destiny which is to share forever in His glory, to behold and to love forever the One who is the fullness of all goodness, to belong to Him forever.

Eternal glory has already begun, secretly, in the very heart of this ordinary life, because God dwells in me, and God is at work in my life. But why am I so dull and unaware? Because I need the light of the Holy Spirit to show me the path He has laid out before me. Christianity is not external to the real concerns of my life. It illuminates them and opens me up to their true meaning. But this only happens if I live the relationship with God that He continually desires to deepen throughout my life.

And how can I live and grow in a relationship with Eternal Love except by asking for Him to change me, asking for Him to empower me to love Him more, asking Him to enable me to see the Church as the instrument of His love, and her teachings as the road of love that really corresponds to my life? I want Him to "come" into my life, deepen my relationship with Him, and make me more aware of His presence. This is why I must ask, continually, for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be renewed within me. This is why my whole heart has to be a living, loving, begging prayer for God's grace.