The Lantern Vol. 49
As we enter into this final week of Easter, Holy week I return to my writing to share with my friends, a thought to help them in their spiritual life.
The biggest scandals and obstacles to the understanding of Catholicism are Catholics themselves. We who profess the faith are usually the poorest witnesses, and I am no different.
When I look at my life I have to wonder how one such as me could ever get into heaven As a man in this over-sexualized and worldly culture I often feel my life in spiritual grace is so fleeting. Just as soon as I leave the confessional I seem to run into my human nature with thoughts that lead me right back to sin.
I look at my life as a series of falls, but the falls are so common they really represent the norm. My spiritual life is more of a series of getting back up. So how can we ever get to heaven, how can I ever get there?
I think of Mark 10:27. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Christ’s sacrifice of the Mass is so powerful it does not just remit for my sins but the sins of the world. Yet, can we rely only on the grace of God? How does a Catholic participate with God’s grace?
We must allow God to dwell in us. My disguise is not something I put on, but rather something I put in.
God tells us
"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 1 Corinthians 15:54
"For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling " 2 Corinthians 5:2
Our bodies are tabernacles “tents’ of the Holy Spirit. While we are in a state of grace we house the spirit of God in our earthly bodies.
For the Catholics we spend our lives sanctifying the temples of our bodies, preparing a dwelling place for God.
In the Old Testament, we know of the Ark of the Covenant. A resting place of the written word of God. It was a holy, powerful vessel. Mary the Mother of God is also referred to as the Ark of the Covenant because in her body she not only housed the living word, but God filled her with His body and blood. Now, we too share in this precious gift.
"The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:54
As Christians, we can lead a life of grace and allow ourselves to be filled with God’s word and graces through prayer. As Catholics, we participate even more by filling ourselves with Christ’s actual body and blood. God's graces through prayer are like the rain watering the flowers. The Sacraments are the watering hose of graces. Those in a drought and under attack need a far greater source of God’s grace and love. Like Mary, the Mother of God, Christ’s body and blood join with us in Holy Communion.
When you enter a Catholic Church you see a beautiful tabernacle housing Christ’s body and blood. That can be you! A tabernacle housing the body and blood of Christ. When I receive communion I pray “May I eat your body and drink your blood so you may live in me and I in you”. recalling God’s promise. I ask him to repair the tabernacle that He has given me. To repair the scratches and dents “the scars” of my soul. To renew the shell of my body so it is pleasing to Him to do His work and His will. I ask Him and give Him possession of my soul and my tabernacle. It has nothing to do with me. It is by God’s own promise that he will live in me.
So you see, this is my disguise. A tabernacle filled with the body and blood of Christ does not belong to me. It is God’s possession and His alone. With all of our failings, all of our faults, and all of our falls, constantly, every second of the day, they are repaired through His command and promise. “I will live in you and you in me.”
When I die, God will not see George. He will not see this fallen broken person that you all see so often. He will see a tabernacle filled with the body and blood of His Son. He will see His Son and say ”That belongs to me”, “That belongs in heaven”. “That is mine
My disguise is trusting in His promise, His grace, His love. Fill your tabernacles with His Son’s body and blood. Ask Jesus to take possession of your tabernacle and begin the daily repairs it needs to properly hold Him. The disguise sounds silly with an all-knowing God, but it was really His idea. May you have a Blessed Easter. George