So there we have it!!
PILLAR 3: HOW WE LIVE
This high call comes from what?
The high call comes from God Himself and from the dignity with chich he’s given to us
St. Leo the Great says in Paragraph 1691, “‘Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.’”
This is the beginning for what it is to live the life of the Christian
This journey through the Catechism is information transfer
We are trying to teach
We are getting new information
This is about vastly more than information transfer
THIS IS ABOUT TRANSFORMATION!!
We let the Church teach us what it is to believe, the Creed
What is it we know about who God is and how He loves us, who we are, and what we are made for?
We accept that
The Church teaches
God comes to us and reaches us in the sacraments
We are healed in the sacraments
We are united in the sacraments
We serve in the sacraments
We start this new challenging phase today
Some people say, “I just don’t know if I can believe what the Church teaches.”
Almost always they are not saying, “I don’t know if I can believe in the Trinity, that God is one nature, but three Divine persons.”
They are not saying, “I can’t believe that Jesus is actually God. I can’t believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. I can’t believe that.”
USUALLY IT IS ABOUT MORALITY!!
When it comes to our struggle with faith, it is a greater challenge to put our faith in this revelation that God is Three Persons in one Divine Being
That takes VASTLY MORE FAITH than any of these Commandments we are going to come up against
The Commandments make sense to live
Do not lie
Do not bear false witness
Yes, makes sense
This morality is not challenging because it’s not believable
It is challenging because we think a person could not possibly LIVE like this
That is why over these next months we are going to be MASSIVELY PRAYING
Recognize your DIGNITY and that you have been rescued by Jesus from the power of darkness
We are all called to live as children of God
We are called to live a life WORTHY of the Gospel of Christ
Paragraph 1692 says, “Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life ‘worthy of the gospel of Christ.’ They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.”
We strive and we fall
We go for it and we fail
The Lord sustains us
The Lord gives us His grace through the sacraments and through prayer
We are called to live life in this way as well
We are called to participate in the life of the Risen Lord
Jesus has gone ahead of us
He is our head
We are His members
Where He has gone, we need to follow
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!
The way He lived in trusting, loving obedience to His Father, we are also called to live in that trusting, loving obedience to the Father
The way of Christ is the way that leads to life
There is a contrary way that leads to destruction
Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew Ch 7 with the Parable of the two ways
One leads to LIFE
One leads to DESTRUCTION
That is an expansion of Deuteronomy Ch 30
There are two ways before us are placed life and death, blessing and a curse
God says, “Choose life, therefore, that you and your descendants may have life.”
In the Didache, the teaching of the Apostles, it says, “There are two ways-the one of life, the other of death. But between the two, there is a great difference.”
Paragraph 1697 says, “Catechesis has to reveal in all charity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ. Catechesis for the ‘newness of life’ in him should be: -a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life; -a catechesis of grace, for it is by grace that we are saved and again it is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life; -a catechesis of beatitudes, for the way of Christ is summed up in the beatitudes, the only path that leads to the eternal beatitude for which the human heart longs; -a catechesis of sin and forgiveness, for unless man acknowledges that he is a sinner he cannot know the truth about himself, which is a condition for acting justly; and without the offer of forgiveness he would not be able to bear this truth; -a catechesis of the human virtues which causes one to grasp the beauty and attraction of right disposition towards goodness; -a catechesis of the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity, generously inspired by the example of the saints; -a catechesis of the twofold commandment set forth in the Decalogue; -an ecclesial catechesis, for it is through the manifold exchanges of ‘spiritual goods’ in the ‘communion of saints’ that Christian life can grow, develop, and be communicated.”
Dr. Healy talked about her own experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit
Having that come alive is part of that catechesis of the Holy Spirit and the catechesis of grace
When we are talking about how we live, we sometimes forget that we can only live this way by God’s grace
It is by GRACE that we are SAVED
If you ever hear a non-Catholic Christian say, “Do you really believe that it is by grace that you are saved?”
The answer is 100% YES
BY GRACE, WE ARE SAVED THROUGH FAITH, WORKING ITSELF OUT IN LOVE
“It is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life.”
Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
The beatitudes are the way of Christ
It is the only way that leads to Heaven
Do you know the truth about yourself?
THe humble person is willing to be honest and tell the truth about themselves
The proud person will never tell the truth about themselves
The proud person is constantly on the defensive, unwilling to look at their strengths, and definitely unwilling to look at their flaws, unwilling to look at their sins
If you are going to be a saint, if you even want to know the truth about yourself, we have to acknowledge that we are sinners
We have to acknowledge that God loves us
We have to acknowledge that God gives us mercy
Every time a person goes to Confession, the first miracle is that they are convicted by their sins
At the same time, the other conviction is of God’s mercy, that God loves them
We need these dual convictions
Without the first, we would PRESUME upon God’s grace
We would PRESUME that we are going to Heaven
We would be guilty of the SIN OF PRESUMPTION
Without the second conviction that God is merciful, we would be OVERWHELMED
We need the catechesis of sin AND forgiveness
Every time we talk about sin, we are also going to talk about God’s grace
Human virtues are strengths that we can develop by God’s grace and by discipline that help us to live this right way
The Christian virtues are faith, hope, and love
All these catechesis are given to us so that God can do something incredible in us and through us
DO NOT BE AFRAID!!
YOU BELONG TO GOD!!
GOD LONGS FOR YOU!!
God longs to use all that is in you as if it were His own, for the service and glory of the Father
BE NOT AFRAID!!
Whatever God asks of us, we will say YES
Philippians 1:21 says, “For me, to live is Christ. I died. I have been crucified. Therefore, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
THIS IS GOING TO BE EXCITING!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!