Saturday, September 07, 2013

Know God’s Counsel

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the LORD intends?  For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans.  For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.  Wisdom 9:13-15
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord.  So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.  Philemon 12-15
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.”
  Luke 14:26-27
Our relationship to God is our piety.  Our bodies can lock our souls into the constrictions of human weakness.  Our souls are meant to be able to fly with the wings of the angels that see God and allow God’s possibilities to be one’s own.  Piety is seen in the wisdom that is sent from on high.  The many concerns of the body that can wear the mind down are set free by the boldness that comes from the inspirations of the spirit.   God gives us wisdom in his holy spirit that comes from on high.  In every age, the thousand years are reduced to our moment in the love of God that prayer gives birth to in our piety.  Wisdom allows us to number our days aright in the love of God touched again and again by our prayer. 
God sends people into our lives that allow us to find the road God has for us in the straight and the narrow path that our God-friends walk with us.  Paul teaches us how to keep the people in our faith journey free.  He returns Onesimus, a slave of his friends, to them so that the good they do for him might be unforced.  He returns a brother rather than a slave by leaving them the freedom to regard Paul as a partner in his work in the Lord.  How we make the Lord the center of our life so that we love the Lord with our whole being, with our entire mind and our heart and soul, is the work of a lifetime.  All our blood relatives are part of who we are.  Yet we are called to surrender all to the service of God.   Our first item in the business of life is our own salvation.  God‘s love ripples out from that.  We cannot put others before our own salvation in the service of God.  He calls us to make him the center of our lives.  Then we can know the freedom to give our lives for the sake of his people. 

We serve the Lord best by carrying our own crosses.  God gives us helpers in his work of salvation.  We are meant to be his hands and his feet in the work we do in his name.  Letting the Lord work 100 percent in what we do is the Contemplative-in-Action grace.  It does not exclude our having helpers to do his work.  We do what is possible for us to do.  We work at renouncing all our possessions in the name of the Lord.  Christ gave up being God for our sake so that we would know how to reach his Father by doing his work.   He calls us to marshal all our energies to be his presence in all that we would do in his name.  

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