Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Do Not Forget
A common theme in my blog posts is our terrible habits of forgetfulness. In all aspects our faith becomes old and monotonous for us, until we have learned why we should not forget.
God is great, greater than our imaginations could ever begin to understand. And yet, when we read words that teach of us His greatness, or listen to the sermons of priest after priest, we begin to limit God's greatness to the perspective of these words. The truth is, there is one great Mystery and all teachings about this mystery are only small complements of the whole. We are edified spiritually and mentally by words of wisdom, words which speak of God, and yet these words are looked upon by God as little lessons for His Children, as we might look on a child's reader. It would be very foolish of us indeed to think that there was nothing greater than that we are accustomed to hear! But if we keep in our minds the constant realization that the Mystery is greater than our understanding, we will find that we grow and learn rapidly for the entire duration of our lives without ever coming to that realization which awaits us in heaven.
Every Sunday, more often for some, we hear the words of Scripture. We listen again and again to the same teachings of Christ and the prophets. We walk through the journey of the apostles, the teachings of the commandments, the fall of Adam and Eve again and again. Some who have studied the Bible in depth, or know many passages by heart, may even begin to think that this word is no longer a mystery to them. This is not so. The word of God in Scripture is a living word and it is as fresh and new at all times as if it were Jesus Himself standing and teaching us what had never been heard before. Yes, these teachings found in the Bible can be learned, and the interpretation of them understood, but it would take an eternity for us to fully grasp even a single verse in its entirety, for God's word lives and speaks. For this reason our ears should ever be attentive to the words of Scripture. We must listen to what God is teaching us, and consider that He speaks directly to our hearts when we open them to receive His Word. We must revere each word of Scripture even more so than we might revere the profound words of a great poet, for God is the Author of the World and the Poet of Eternity. What a gift He has given us in His Holy Bible!
The Church given to us by Christ is His Great Work. Sometimes we begin to look at the Church as if it were a human organization... and view priests with a judgmental eye on their personal characters and not on their Holy Office. The Liturgy and age-old prayers of the Church become merely rituals, and not the sacred form of worship, pleasing to God, that they are. We begin to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation because we are obliged to, and receive God's forgiveness and mercy without the understanding of how great this mercy is and how truly despicable our sins against His love actually are. We receive the sacraments of marriage and holy orders without the understanding that it is a sacred tryst with God and man to fulfill a certain duty for God, the Church, and mankind. The Holy Eucharist, received time after time, really seems to be bread and wine in our eyes as our hypocritical "Amen" proceeds the most loving gesture of the Most High.
The moment we begin to forget that there is more to what we have learned, the moment we begin to think that we understand, is the very moment that the Mystery is veiled from our eyes. Let us always strive to remember the Mystery, always consider that God is greater than we know, always have faith that there is more He will teach us, always consider ourselves and our understanding to be far smaller than the great Mystery of which we are a part. Look at Him with awe, dear friends and little children of God.
You are great, you are wonderful, you are perfect. Help me never to become disillusioned by the idea that I know you, for who could know you? How can one who is restrained on earth begin to fathom the greatness of the Alpha and Omega of the Supernatural universe? Perhaps one moment I will think that I know you, and let that moment be followed by a glimpse of all those things I do not know and cannot grasp with my small mind. Perhaps for a moment I will think myself holy, or think that I love you, and let that moment be followed with the realization of the astounding vastness of your holiness and love. Perhaps one moment I will think that I understand my heavenly home, and let this be followed by the appearance of the supernatural palaces which I had no idea existed. Perhaps I think myself prepared to receive you in the Eucharist, or think my meditations and prayers on your passion worthy of you, but allow this to be immediately followed by the revelation of how unworthy I really am of such thoughts and how much greater you are than I had been able to see. Truly, this delusion of personal understanding is a tool of the devil to keep me from the great and unrestrained Adoration which my Divine Savior deserves, and great joy and hope is found in not falling victim to it.