Friday, January 19, 2018
The Journey to Love (with help from applying ye olde theology notes)
The weather is unreliable, we were eager for a heavy snow day with temps warm enough to enjoy it, and instead we got flurries and freezing temps. In spite of these circumstances, everyday, my goal as I raise my little people, is to truly love them. It led me to dig through my old notes.... and I came across an almost theological treatise in the pages of my old NKJV Bible. Now that I'm Catholic, it is fun to apply ye olde theological classes from college to my life now.
We live in an age when "true care" is rare and the computer screen becomes a nice "perfect haven" to hide behind. We can hide our wounds, our true selves, and we can hide from God's call on our life... whatever it may be and wherever it leads us. For me, that looks like joyful motherhood to six and living the happy domestic life. But instagram and other social media channels can easily steal our joy, or at least threaten it!
St. Therese had something to say about the modernity of her age, and of course she connected it to love, how to love, and this desire to love that she found in her heart.
We are living now in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs … I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. … The elevator which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more.
How do we go about following God's will to love and perfection? And shouldn't this be our aim everyday of our lives? It may take a minute to read, but let's dig a little and find out what Paul had to say about this!!
(1) the best place to find discourse on Love is in 1 Corinthians... the "love is patient and calm" verses. I know that just like St. Therese, I want to find a little way. God's love is "the bond of perfection." Do you need a hyperlink that will take you straight to God? Look no further than his directions in 1 Corinthians for loving others.
(2) In seeking this "hyperlink" to God, we have directions from the Scriptures. We go beyond "the moral life" as discussed by Socrates*, and we go further into Spiritual life (life by the Spirit) as according to Jesus, in his Scriptures. We have to put off covetousness and the evils of living by our flesh, by the meat and muscle.
(3) Galatians is a great book for learning about salvation. Paul has traveled around, he was persecuted by Pharisees who believed in 'salvation through circumcision,' who were peddling the Word of God... !! But Paul tries to tell them that circumcision should be an outward sign of an inward salvation and grace. The law is a tutor or instrument to bring us to Christ. We are slaves under the law, however, sons of God have identity, family, relationship, and salvation.
(4) Ephesians, in summary is about the abundance of spiritual wisdom (namely, love) that is found in Christ. We should pray for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened with wisdom. We are saved by grace and peace means access to the Father by the Spirit. He is our cornerstone. The 'mystery' of the Spirit is the sheer magnitude of God's love for us: his high, long, wide, and deep love! Therefore, we must walk worthy of his calling and get along. We should imitate God, amid works of darkness, and submit to others out of reverence.
(5) Philippians asks the question: (or maybe begs the question): how do we know God began a good work in us? (AKA: Are we growing in the gospel, or the 'good news'?) If we are suffering for Christ without fearing our adversaries, if we esteem others better than ourselves, if we are unlike the Pharisees who look to deeds for salvation, if we have the maturity in Christ to be 'of the same mind,' then God will supply all our needs and wants, and we can rejoice as we meditate on whatever is good! This means.... contentment.
(6) Colossians is all about living with our minds on 'things above'--- NOT on earthly things or the outward appearance... but rather the heart. We must have faith in jesus, we must put off legalism, we must trade angry annoyance for humility/patience, and above all, we must LOVE.
(7) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not pre-judge, it does not boast.... it is truly the bond of perfection, the secret to unity, and the way of truth.
Put off impurity, immorality, all kinds of covetousness, and the wickedness of the flesh. Put on love, the tie that binds us together in community.
How will you seek the hyperlink to God and his love in your life? How about in your day today?
*In my last post I credited "The unexamined life" quote to Aristotle, but it was actually Socrates (from Plato's Apology) who said that! My apologies for the mistake!
If you made it to the end, CHEERS!
Adding my link to ACWB and Kelly's !