Here is a blog I wrote a few weeks ago detailing what are the criticisms of the Catholic Church. I turned it around and wrote what I thought the strengths are. Having some additional thoughts on the matter in a recent Lectio Divina, I would like to share my thoughts about Father as the Way, the Holy Spirit is the Truth, and Christ is the Life.
Creating humans was God’s most outstanding achievement in terms of intelligent progression. Imperfect? All matter is there to allow us to use our reason and free choice to say YES to God and NO to sin. You could not have a more imperfect species than humans, yet, God so loved us with all our perfections, denials, sinfulness, and betrayal that it is unbelievable. The move from animality to rationality for humans had some intended and unintended consequences. First, we had to learn to be human, not animal, while retaining the residue of our heritage. This meant there were good choices for being new humans and bad choices, but humans did not know the consequences. Sin entered the world through one man, St. Paul says in Romans 5. That is significant because Genesis is a textbook of the archetype of what it means to struggle with being human. Imperfect and sinful? Yes, yet humans of all species were loved as worth teaching, but they needed help. Christ became the second Adam to give us adoption as sons and daughters of the Father. Jesus gave him life for the ransom of many to show this love.
Humans, in response, still had no clue as to the depths of his love. Peter denied him three times, and Judas committed suicide. Only John was at the foot of the cross with Mary, his mother. Yet, God did not give up on us and sent us to Holy Spirit to blow away the cobwebs and to allow us dual citizenship (we live on the earth until we die, but we are destined to be with that love forever). Now, we get a glimpse of that destiny that fulfills the Genesis Principle with the Christ Principle and allows us to fulfill our destiny as humans as nature intended. Dissonance has become resonance, but we are aware of it only to the extent that we choose God over self. Lay Cistercian practices of capacitas dei (growing more in Christ and less of my false self) and conversio morae, daily having in me the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) is my purpose in life, one that is a human alone with my reasoning would never attain.
I added these to the website Quora to answer one of their questions. With some of these inane questions, no wonder many countries are going more and more atheistic. I don’t blame them, but I offer some ideas that help me with the insanity of false questions. It’s a living.
That they ask you to die each day to self to rise to new life in Christ Jesus.
That they ask you to love one another as Christ loved us.
That they ask you to love God with your whole heart, whole mind, and all your strength and your neighbor as yourself.
That they ask you, when people calumniate and make false statements, do not return evil for evil, but return evil with good.
You should be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and overflow so that people may see your good works and give glory to our heavenly Father.
They ask you to grow in the capacity of God each day in silence and solitude.
That they ask you to forgive those who persecute you and love those who hate you.
That they ask you to believe that the words of Christ are as valid today as when he spoke them.
They ask you to give glory to the Father, through, with, and in Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic sacrifice.
That they ask you to convert your sinful self each day through the power of the Holy Spirit.
That they ask you to sit quietly on a park bench in the middle of winter with the heart of Christ next to yours and just be fully human as your nature intended.
That you should do nothing more than to seek God each day in whatever comes your way or whoever comes your way with no judgments.
They ask you to have mercy on others as Christ has mercy on you.
That you should pray in the silence of your room (Matthew 6.5) in secret (contemplative prayer) and make no demands on God.
You should remember that the first step of humility is to fear the Lord.
You should not worship false gods of the world, the first and foremost being yourself.
That you should do penance for your sins and read the seven penitential psalms with genuine sorrow for offending God.
That you should not prevaricate and speak falsely of others.
That you should not let the sun go down on your anger.
You should do unto others as you want them to do to you.
That you should come to believe in the words of Christ as Messiah. (John 20:30–31)
You should not worship false idols such as money, fame, fortune, adulation, false pride, or thinking that you and your thinking are better than others.
That they ask you to give up what seems righteous to the world but which is the opposite for those in the kingdom of heaven.
That they ask that in all things, you glorify God.
That they ask you to watch out for the devil goes about seeking whom he may devour, especially me.
They ask you not to place the world’s riches as your center but instead place there God’s riches. Only the rich get to heaven, but it is with God’s riches, not material things.
They ask you to have Faith, Hope, and Love and listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit with the ear of your heart.
That, even if there is no god, no higher source, nobody from whom we have a DNA, doing these things would allow us to reach the highest potential of our humanity as intended by our nature.
That, in the end, we have Faith so that we can have Hope in the resurrection, and so live now in the love of God (not the world), and serve others as Christ has served us.