SIXTY SECOND CATHOLIC: aRE YOU WASTING TIME JUST WAITING TO DIE?
Unless you have been hiding under a blanket for the last thirty years, you have probably heard of the New One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard’s view of leadership. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4VnMmSr0HM I like to think of this blog as the Sixty Second Catholic, the concentrated orange juice of contemplative spirituality. At Baptism, we receive God’s gift of Faith (concentrated orange juice). To make it happen in our hearts, we must add the waters of Baptism and the Holy Spirit to activate Faith. As good as Ken Blanchard’s books are, they won’t get us to Heaven. Faith alone with our good works will do that. (Matthew 25)
The topic is: Are You Just Waiting to Die? Here are some ideas, if this is you.
- You did not ask to be born but you do have control of how you go out of this life.
- Don’t worry about heaven or hell. Concentrate on loving Christ as Christ has loved us.
- Spirituality is not about knowing God, but in knowing, loving, and serving him. (Faith without works is dead, but your works without Faith is idolatry.)
- Get back with your Gathering (Church) and join ministries that visit the sick, bring Holy Communion to the shut ins and elderly.
- If you don’t have these ministries, start just one. Visit the widows and widowers plus those too old to attend Eucharist. Make sure you pair up with another person. It is not by chance that Christ admonished his disciples to go out “in twos”. As the Christophers say, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
- Avoid reacting to death as though it won’t come to pass, embrace it and help others in need.
- Avoid passing the time until you die by watching television, doing Sudoku or reading all the books in your public library. Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given to you.
- Join a spiritual group, such as Lay Cistercians (www.trappist.net), Lay Dominicans, Benedictine Oblates, Franciscan Third Order, and Lay Carmelites, just to name a few. These systems of spirituality will provide you with order, principles of practice, contemplative prayer opportunities, and movement away from self to God. You can’t possibly imagine how joyful that seeming contradiction.
- Read Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict every day. Every day is important. https://christdesert.org/prayer/rule-of-st-benedict/chapter-4-the-tools-for-good-works/
- If you did nothing but try to become what St. Benedict challenges his monks to do (540 AD), then you would become what you pray. If you become what you pray, you have purpose to your life from now until the end, real purpose, not treasures that rust and moth consumes.
- Remember, Heaven is God’s playground. If you want to go there you must follow His rules. The only rule is: love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself.
- Do any of these suggestions and you place yourself on a park bench in the dead of winter and long to have Christ say to you, “Come blessed of my Father, because you have been faithful over a few things, I will put you in charge of many more. Come, share your Lord’s joy.”
- Faith comes only from God, God’s own energy. Without Christ to be our transformer, our neurons and memories would be fried. Humans cannot look at the face of Christ, but Christ is our brother, making us adopted sons and daughters of the Father with the energy of the Holy Spirit.
- Abandon your trust in the World. Don’t trust in princes, as the psalmist says. Trust in God alone. Make the leap of Faith from everything depending on you and how much you understand about God to saying, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Hope is all we have that the words of Christ to us are true. If there is no Resurrection, then the World has won and God has lost the battle of our hearts and minds.
- Don’t try to prove anything about the Bible to yourself or others. Seek to be present to Christ in silence and solitude, seeking to decrease while praying that Christ will grace you with His real presence.
- Once in your lifetime, make a retreat at a MONASTERY. http://www.trappist.net, http://www.st.meinrad.edu
- The foolishness of God is wiser than all the knowledge of all the human minds in the history of our race. Your reward? Not money. Not promotion. Not 77 virgins who wait on pleasing you. Not being the most popular or most read politician. Not being a retired physician without portfolio now. Not being a service member with no framework of meaning. Not being a prisoner who is devoid of Hope in the future. What happens right now, as you are retired, and you think life is over. There is nothing left to live for. There is no Hope.
- With Faith from God, you will find the purpose of why you are here. With Love from Christ, you will find the purpose of why He came just to tell you how to get to Heaven. With Hope from the Holy Spirit, you abandon all that is of the World and embrace Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is Love.
- If you just must binge watch television, look at all ten of these thoughts by Bishop Barron. This is good Lenten penance (besides reading this blog.)
Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. –Cistercian doxology