I have never been good at taking tests. I could never figure out why but I learn a different way from most folks. I look at the big picture and like to see how things fit together. There is a test that all of us must take, no exceptions. You can be atheist, agnostic, heretical Roman Catholic sect, member of the authentic Church Universal, non-Christian sect, scientist, philosopher, or Gnostic, no exceptions. It is that time when you must stand before God and give an account of your stewardship. Can you pass God’s test?
WARM UP EXERCISE
Here are a few warm-up exercises to get the brain cells synapting. You must look up the answers in the URL provided.
If the center of Christ is God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) what is the center of the Catholic Church? http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism/files/assets/basic-html/page-VI.html Deuteronomy 6 and Matthew 22:37.
Is belief the same as Faith? What is greater than Faith? Faith comes from God, belief comes from your will. I Corinthians 13:13.
Why were the Scriptures written? John 20:30-31.
THE BIG TEST
What three questions will God ask you to see if you got what He was trying to tell you through Christ?
Of course, I don’t know what the three will actually be, but I know the three that I am preparing for my last and final test.
What is the purpose of Life? It is the Shema Yisrael found in Deuteronomy 6 in the Old Testament and fulfilled by Christ in the New Covenant in Matthew 22:37. God gives us the purpose of life as well as the means to fulfill our destiny as humans. Not everyone will see the answers to this question.
What is the purpose of your life? Based on my trying to love God with my whole heart, my unique purpose is, “have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5). Being a Lay Cistercian helps me to focus on taking up my daily challenge to seek God. My helps are: Eucharist, Lectio Divina daily, daily reading of Chapter 4 of St. Benedict’s Rule, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, Adoration Before the Blessed Sacrament as much as I can.
What did you do to love others as Christ loved you? An orange tree that does not bear fruit in Florida is cut down to make way for those who do. The proof of Faith is doing, not believing. You can’t do unless you believe and love with all your heart. All the questions are linked to each other. Read Matthew 25:31-46.
Loving others as Christ loved you is the ultimate test of Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is Love. I am preparing for this test not only by what I know, but by what I do, which shapes who I am.
HERE IS A PITHY THOUGHT
Even if there is no God stuff, or Resurrected Jesus, or the Holy Spirit is just my misguided hope in eternal life, if I followed the Cistercian practices and charisms, I would, at minimum, be leading a life that enriches my humanity and fulfills my destiny. With God, with the Christ who rose from the dead and Ascended to the Father taking me with Him, with the Holy Spirit to guide me in my quest to seek God through Cistercian spirituality, I would be fulfilling my destiny in three universes (physical, mental, and spiritual) and inherit the Kiingdom of Heaven for which I was destined before there was physical energy and time.
Praise to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian doxology.