LENTEN CONVERSION: jUST oNE CHANGE

Lent is a time of reassessment and change. We move from our false self, imprinted with the effects of Original Sin to being free from the hostage to death. During your time of profound reflection in Lent, here are some thoughts I had from my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) on the idea, “If I made just one change, what would be the impact on how I look at reality?”

JUST ONE THOUGHTS

If you just thought about the Christ Principle as the reason why you exist, what would be the behavioral consequences? For me, Christ is the only way, the only truth, and the only life that leads to heaven. My challenge is to place myself in His presence as much as possible using Cistercian practices and charisms and soak up whatever He wants me to have. I thought about what that “soaking” would feel like as I sit on a bench in the dead of winter and wait for Christ to sit down next to me. After a while, I realize that Christ had been sitting down long before I got there and was just waiting for me to empty myself of my false self to begin to transform to my new life using the power of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t consider myself a religious zealot or fanatic, one whose passion is trying to get others to his or her notion of who Christ is. Rather, in silence and solitude, in the stillness of my heart, I seek God without words or ideas, or human concepts. Religious charlatans of all denominations seem to be full of the Holy Spirit but are only full of themselves. Follow me, they chant, and you will be saved. The Christ Principle is the only true way to salvation. There is no easy way to heaven but the cross. Resurrection without the cross is shallow and will not fill the hole left in the human heart from the sin of Adam and Eve. The World does not have the power to save us, only the love of Christ can fill that big hole left by Adam and Eve.

When I went outside yesterday to take out the trash, I noticed the clear, blue sky, inhaled the crisp air (crisp for Florida, that is), the felt the afternoon sun on my head and neck. It felt good. I thought about how this toasty warm Sun is like sitting next to Christ on the park bench and just soaking up goodness. Humans are so compulsive that we must always be doing something to feel like we justify our existence or are productive. I call that filling holes, and if we don’t have holes in our lives (death in the family, work, power, money, and religion), then we manufacture them so we can fill them. St. Augustine said it succinctly when he stated: our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.

We must be busy to be worth something in the eyes of the World. In the eyes of God, we are worth many sparrows, and the reason why Christ became human was to suffer and die to redeem us from the hole of death to be able to rise again as an adopted son or daughter of the Father. The Christ Principle is the one point into which all reality, physical, mental and spiritual, flow, and all reality finds purpose and justification. One thing you will never find Lucifer doing is giving up his life to redeem us from the hole of death. He wants you to give up your life for him and then laughs at you because you were so stupid not to choose God over evil.

WHAT WOULD YOU BE LIKE, IF YOU…

  • Prayed every day to be like Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict? Every day! https://christdesert.org/prayer/rule-of-st-benedict/chapter-4-the-tools-for-good-works/
  • Received the Sacrament of Penance to proclaim your unworthiness to be an adopted son or daughter of the Father and seek mercy from God for your failings and grace to move from false self to true self?
  • Joined yourself with the love of the heart of Christ for the Father to give honor and glory. Eating the bread of life enables you to become what you eat.
  • Loved others as Christ loved you?
  • Focused on helping all others become bearers of the sign of the cross as they can, not as you want?
  • Had in you the mind of Christ Jesus? (Philippians 2:5)
  • Preferred nothing to the love of Christ? (Chapter 4 of St. Benedict’s Rule)
  • Began each day with the Magnificat with Mary as Intercessor and Role Model of Humility?
  • Watched YouTube clips from both Bishop Robert Barron (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezZxL5xoEq8 http://www.wordonfire.org) and Dr. Scott Hahn? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2k-SZbj_gM)
  • Moved from meditation to contemplation using the phrase at the center of your life? (My phrase is Philippians 2:5) Meditation is your playground using your rules, words, ideas, prayers. Contemplation is God’s playground using only God’s rules (pure love, pure love, and pure service). The only way we can possibly even approach this state is with Christ as the Meditor and the Holy Spirit as the transformer.
  • Had a passion for being present to Christ through Cistercian practices of Lectio Divina, Eucharist, Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, Reading Scripture, reading Cistercian men and women who daily converted their lives from their false self to their true selves?
  • Had a burning desire to share Christ crucified with others and not foist your notion of Christ on them?
  • Read Scripture so that you might come to believe that Jesus is Son of God, Messiah and that by believing in Him, you have life in his name.

26Now a week later, his disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”p27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”28*q Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”29* Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? r Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Conclusion.*30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book.s31But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.t https://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/20

UIODG

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