Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Kingdom of God

     Hell, although thought to be a fairytale concocted by tyrannical roman Catholic zealots, is a reality which we, no matter how hard we try, cannot rationalize away with any amount of atheistic propaganda or arrogant new age philosophy. This world, even in these, it’s darkest days, still obstinately refuses and vehemently denies the possibility of a hell…and even worse than that is the now common practice of accepting mortal sin, not only as a way to live, but as the only way to live. “Woe to you, who call evil good and good, you call evil!” The greatest victory satan has won over us is the astonishing achievement of convincing us that he does not exist. When you cease to recognize evil, so to does the true, good and beautiful become indistinguishable. In this society that we all as God’s children live together, harmony and peace are as abundant as compassion and understanding is in a Planned Parenthood abortion mill. Interestingly enough, as a metaphor the heinous crime of abortion speaks loud and clear, identifying the “doctrine” of this moral cesspool we all call home. We as a culture of death are eradicating our innocence (innocents) and showing our true desires lie in a hedonistic wasteland of wickedness and lust. Every time we abort an innocent life, we as a culture, as a people, are telling God: “We do not want your blessings!” By destroying life and despising purity, which are both gifts from God, given to us with hope, we are placing a stranglehold around our own necks and slowly cutting off the air supply. I will admit these words do sound like a condemnation, but if you feel condemned after reading these few words, you alone are responsible for the condemnation, not God. Let us not forget that Christ himself said: “Neither do I condemn you.” To a sinner who knows the mercy of God the words I have written do not instill fear, but affirm the need for an immediate deluge of God’s grace. Conversely, to the sinner who denies the grace of God these words are offensive and reproachful. Which are you?

     My dear brethren, “{for} God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” There is no reason to fear condemnation to hell, unless we bring upon ourselves with our blasphemous words and insidious deeds. I say that we should not fear not because damnation is not possible, but simply because if we give our lives to God, damnation becomes impossible. God does not desire your death; he actually desires the exact opposite. The Lord swore that He “has no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live.” Hearing these words brings to my heart sadness. A sadness because so many good Catholics, good Christians are preaching about the end of time and forgetting that “ the kingdom of heaven grows by love, not fear.” “Why should we die, O Israel? Let us turn from our evil ways!”

     When buying into the lie of self-sufficiency that our collective ego as a country feeds us, we forget that we were created to love and to be loved. Although it was precisely because of Adam’s original solitude in the world that lead him to realize his vocation to love as God does, his loneliness cast upon him a longing, which God sensed and declared “It is not good for man to be alone.” Our current secular “dogma”, so to speak, is that we do not need anyone to be happy. This “teaching” contradicts Christianity as a whole and disgraces our very existence, not to mention denies the very reason we were created to be male and female in the first place. I will admit original sin has wreaked havoc on our hearts and impaired our sight when it comes to recognizing what is good and what is evil, but I will never admit or concede defeat in any sense of the word. “Do not empty the cross of its power!” Jesus Christ came into this world not to chill out and have a cappuccino, Christ came “so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly.” What is Life? If we assume that Christ came to give us life, as we know it, then what kind of gift would that be? No, my friends, Christ came to give His life for us and to us so that we may have a share in His Divine life! The graces that we received from the redemption of our bodies flow freely from the sacraments directly into the souls of those prepared to receive it. “It is that mysterious gift made to the inner man—to the human heart—which enables both of them, man and woman, to exist from the ‘beginning’ in the relationship of the disinterested gift of oneself.” That “mysterious gift” that John Paul the Great speaks of is grace, and what is grace? Grace is “participation in the life of God, that gratuitous gift to us of his own life, infused by the Most Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of the effects of sin and to further sanctify it. ” What does all this talk about grace mean? “For those who have ears to hear” let him understand! My brethren, among all the children of God, who is it that daily receives this “sanctifying grace” I have been speaking about? It is we! Through the sacraments God shares his very life with us, not so we can go home and take a nap, but so we can give ourselves to others, just as he gave himself to us! If our brothers and sisters who are living in sin refuse to go to Christ we have only one choice…Forget about them? NO WAY! We must bring Christ to them! In our words, deeds and prayers, we are called to lay down our life for our brethren, we are called to give all we are to God so he can give all he is to us enabling us then to go out as sheep amongst wolves, as living tabernacles, full of grace, to give it freely, fully, faithfully and fruitfully to all who desire to receive it! If we are not progressing, we are regressing; the time for laziness and complacency is over, it is time for action! We must bring the truth to a world suffocating from the very grip of iniquity that it brought upon itself. Bringing the truth to the world, in season or out of season, offensive or accepted, is the call we have received through our Baptism to “make disciples of all nations!”

     Traversing these charred remains of a world that once was pure, “walking with wisdom towards those that are without” we are witnessing to Christ and for Christ by our deeds, “for faith without works is dead.” “Be not afraid”, my friends we are strengthened by God, to do his work and bring his children home. I admit the world will hate you, will persecute you and will call for your silence and possibly even worse, but should that stop us? Are we to fear those who can only kill the body and not the soul? “ For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love…” In conclusion my dear friends I beg of you to fearlessly stand up and proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God and keep always in your heart that the kingdom of God is not a kingdom of tyranny or oppression. It is not a kingdom of rules and regulations. It is not a kingdom of selfish rulers out to obtain riches by the sacrifices of their subjects. No…the kingdom of God is a kingdom of freedom, of compassion, of love and above all of mercy. So as our kingdom is, let us also be.

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