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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Being in Eastertide Is Down and Dirty

From today's First Reading:

Acts 14:19-28New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

19 But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. 22 There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work[a] that they had completed. 27 When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.

Note that the great Apostle of the Gentiles just got up out of the dirt and carried on. He kept going despite horrible ordeals. Again and again, he and his fellow workers got up and kept preaching, teaching, setting up liturgies, moving on.  He opened the door of faith for the Gentiles.

We are to open the door of Faith. 

We are an Easter People, a community of the Resurrected Christ, Who "trampled death by death" and "led the captives out of prison"

However, many of us do not feel release from the pains of many prisons. With the increasing evil revealed in even the msm, one may feel overwhelmed with negativity and the proliferation of sin.

But, Christ has overcome evil and He has overcome death. However, some of us wear death in our souls from sin, from sins against us, from daily, almost constant persecution and the various consequences of sin in the larger society.

McDonald's, were I sit daily, and write to my Dear Readers, has a motto here in this state, "Your lovin'--Their healing." I assume the advertisers mean to state that a mom and dad who takes their kid or kids to Macs will be feeding them good food and helping charities at the same time.

Some of the billions of the money earned through places like this little outlet, goes to houses for medical treatment for children. A drop in the bucket... And, I am sure the vast majority of people who come here for coffee and a muffin, or the dollar menu actually care if any of the money goes to charity.

This type of charity, which is another word for love, is not the type of charity God, the Resurrected One, demands of us daily. Love cannot be compartmentalized. It cannot be pushed off to be done by others. We need, absolutely, to be involved with others who have needs.

Lately, I have noticed that most people do not want to get involved with the needy, or, only at a great distance. I see this in my own life, but then, I understand that people are limited in love, just as I am, and that we have to be pulled, even pushed out of our comfort zones.

Our charity must be direct, involved, "down and dirty" as Christ got down and dirty walking this earth created for happiness and perfection and not for sin.

Sin was mankind's idea, not God's.

When Christ appeared in His Resurrected Body, He wore and still wears for all time, the wounds from His Crucifixion.

Have you meditated on this fact? The Glorified Body of Christ bears all the major wounds-the marks on the Hands, the spear-thrust wound in the Side, the holes in the Feet.

Recently, a priest reminded me that the wounds I wear from trials, poverty, illness, especially is done for mortification and for the glory of God, will be part of my resurrected, glorified body.

Amazing--the wounds we carry will be part of our glory, and how these wounds will be manifested is a mystery.

But, one can guess. If one has been hated, perhaps one will emanate great love. If one has been poor, perhaps one will be adorned like a princess. If one has been calumniated, a great humility will be obvious.

Mary, Our Mother, shares in all the greatest of virtues, from her Immaculate Conception to her days with John in Ephesus.

What were those long days like as she waited for God to call her home?

She was in constant union with the Trinity.

Again and again, I return to this mystery of the Indwelling of the Trinity. The Trinity dwells within all who are in sanctifying grace.

St. Teresa of Avila's birthday is being celebrated by Carmelites and those of us who love her this year. She was born in 1515. More than many saints, she shared what it means to experience the Indwelling of the Trinity.

Here is one of her notes on this fact, also referred to by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine.

The spirit becomes enkindled and is illumined as it were, by a cloud of the greatest brightness. It sees these Three Persons, individually, and yet, by a wonderful kind of knowledge which is given to it, the soul realizes that most certainly and truly all these three Persons are one Substance and one Power and one Knowledge and one God alone; so that what we hold by faith the soul may be aid here to grasp by sight, although nothing is seen by the eyes, either of the body or of the soul, for it is no ordinary vision.

As Garrigou-Lagrange, who refers to this teaching of St. Teresa notes, this awareness comes after the Dark Night and when one is entering the Illumination State.

Even some great saints, such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, did not experience the awareness of the Indwelling of the Trinity until the very end of her life.

That some saints live in this awareness has been made clear by their writings-I think of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. I shall share more of her insights later this week.

While one is walking with God, one must keep in mind that although the lives of the saints are useful guides, God calls each one of us in a unique manner.

There is only one Thomas Aquinas, only one Teresa of Avila, only one Joseph of Cupertino, only one Mary of Egypt.

However, the universal truth of the Indwelling of the Trinity may be shared by all the baptized who are in sanctifying grace.

An exploration of the Indwelling of the Trinity will be my theme this week on this blog.