Tag Archive: Christianity


BE JESUS!

this-is-my-body

At Mass today, at the Consecration, a thought came into my head. I was not thinking along these lines, but there it was… “This is as it was at the Last Supper”! Jesus standing there facing his Apostles, and saying over the bread, “This is My body”.

Why? Why did He do this? Why would anyone say or do that? What did he intend, when He said, “Take this and consume it, for this is My Body”. He gave us a sign of Himself just so that we could remember Him? No, He gave us Himself! With this blessed bread, He told us that He would always be with us. But more than that, He told us that we were to become like Him, become Him.

Through this simple but profound statement, He told us that we were to be Him, and bring Him, through our lives to others. Our sufferings were His sufferings. Our headaches, our worries, our pains, our fears and tears, all of these are to be accepted and carried FOR Him. Accepted? Why would we accept these? This attitude of acceptance is contrary to how the world views them. But there it is, nonetheless. Yes, we are to willingly and even lovingly accept these negatives of the world and turn them into positives. Don’t misunderstand this. We are not to revel in the pain and suffering, but only willingly accept it, and not complain about it. Our willingness to bear these trials in our life for Jesus, is our acceptance of Jesus’ Words and Love into our lives.

Only then, when we are united with Him, can we bring Him to others. The love, the joy of being with Jesus at that Supper becomes part of us and this is what we bring to others. The world does not see suffering as something to be embraced, but rather to be shunned. This is because the world does not see Jesus’ hand stretched out to it. He continually says, “Come take my hand and be Me. Come see the joys and love that I offer you. Come to Me and take Me to the world, by your actions, by your love.”

This is what Christianity is all about, striving to bring Jesus to the people we meet, we encounter, and we live with. Accepting Him is more than a nod of our head, a weekly encounter with Him at Mass. No, to be a Christian is rather an embracing of His life and making it our own. His sufferings become ours. His patience becomes ours. His love for others becomes ours. If we really want to be Christians, then we must become Him.

1) Life’s Actions
2) Our Strength
3) Let Me Use You

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love hate

When we hear the word exorcism, our mind thinks immediately to what we know about this rite. We can’t help but think of the movies that we have seen. In them was depicted all sorts of oddities, a young girls head turning around and around on her neck, objects flying across a room, vulgarities and condemnations being slung from a person’s mouth. Strange as all of this is, it is a film maker’s attempts at capturing in the film, the ultimate horror of evil, the degrading of sin, in short, the ugliness of being without love. This being without love is the cruelest torment of all. It is the fate of all who live lives that care for no one but themselves, who seek to take advantage of anyone or any moment to satisfy their own needs. Such is a life without love. It has sought no love, it has given no love, and so, in the end it receives no love.

The Church in her wisdom holds up a scrutiny for us to consider. Last week we addressed the Creed, the articles of faith that we believe. If we haven’t read through the Creed and tried to, at least, attempt an understanding of its contents, we are wasting precious time. Your Baptism declares that you do believe these articles of faith, even if you don’t understand how they can be.  It is not something that we can prove with philosophy, or logic, but that which our heart knows to be true, but doesn’t fully comprehend. This is really what faith is.

So, this Sunday, the Church speaks to us of exorcism. Why? Why the jump from Creed to Exorcism. All that we believe everything that is contained in the Creed, brings us to love.  In the Creed we speak of God, a God who loves and creates, of Jesus and what He said and did for us, and the love He has shown us. In it we pray to the Holy Spirit to surround us in love. We speak of the Church which is the gathering of all who love. Why is the Creed so important to us? Because, it leads us to all that is loving and beautiful in this world. Without this Creed, without this belief structure, we would be nothing but plotting, conniving individuals seeking only our own good and not caring for anyone else around us. So the horrors of exorcism, or rather the horrors, that necessitate exorcism, would be rampant without the Creed and a belief structure that the Church teaches and reminds us to follow.

Baptism brings us into the peace and love of God; we become adopted sons of God. We become part of the mystical Body of Christ, a group of loving individuals. The purpose of Christ, of Christianity, is to bring peace and concern for others into this world. Catholicism is not a club. It isn’t something that we have in our back pocket and pull it out when necessary. It is a living of life. It is an attempt to show God our love, by living lives that reflect His goodness, His love.

And so, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the scrutiny speaks about exorcism. It does this, not for us to focus our attention on it, but to help us realize the horrible lengths that living without the church will take us. We live Catholic Christian lives not out of fear of what may happen, of what condemnation we might endure. No, nothing like that. We live these lives because Christ, who we follow, who we believe in, has shown us how to live. Can we honestly call ourselves Catholic Christians if we don’t live lives that reflect the joy, the happiness, the love that comes with being at peace with ourselves?  This is what we are called to do, this Sunday and every day of our lives. We must recognize that Jesus is beside us, always.  And with Him, through Him, and in Him, we can live a life that presents joy and love to a world that needs it.

God and Religion

Religion Chart

Who is God? And, what is religion? If you think this can be answered in this post, I have a bridge I am willing to sell you. Depending on our heritage, the beliefs of our parents and those around us, our answer to who, or what, is God, will vary. In the English Dictionary (North America) God is listed as “… the supreme being believed in monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Islam and Christianity to be the all-powerful all-knowing creator of the universe, worshiped as the only god.”  In the same dictionary, religion is listed as “…an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices …concerning the existence, nature and worship of a deity, and divine involvement in the universe and human life.”

This post is being written because of an encounter with a Buddhist friend. This person possesses qualities that I would be proud. I knew and still know, nothing about the Buddhist religion, but it got me to thinking. I believe in one, Supreme Being, a God of goodness, and love, the Creator of the universe and of all peoples. He does not, actually He cannot, love one group of peoples more than another group. His Goodness would not allow it. How is it then that we have so many different beliefs, different religions, different structures within humanity that postulate views that seem irreconcilable. Or, are they?
Buddhism, Chinese Religion, Hinduism, Islam, Judaeo-Christianity are the largest belief systems in the world. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity believe in a monotheistic, supreme God. Hinduism believes in One Supreme Reality (Brahman) manifested in many gods and goddesses. Buddhism has variants part atheistic and part polytheistic. Chinese Religion has the dualistic yin and the yang, mythological beings and folk deities. Though varied, ALL believe in an afterlife (but named differently), and ALL preach goodness to others as a means to personal fulfillment.

Such a small treatment on each major religion could almost be viewed as an insult. This is not meant to be a treatise on comparative religions. The intent is simply to show that God, a loving God, is revealing Himself to all of us, in a manner, as to make it easier for us to understand. His revelation of Himself flows with our customs, with our traditions. He reveals Himself, so that we can better love Him, and live our lives similar to His love and goodness.

It is only in living this goodness, becoming one with our God, that we are able to achieve the Heaven, the Paradise, the Reincarnation, the Total Enlightenment, the Resurrection to which our religion aspires. God is God of all. His love for all is total, just as our love for each other should be.