Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sirach 43 and the Beauty of God's Creation


The New American Bible (2002) translates Sirach 43:2 as follows:
"The orb of the sun, resplendent at its rising: What a wonderful work of the Most High!"  

What an awe-inspiring image of the Creator at work, and this glorious illumination sums up the beauty of every "resplendent" red-orange sunrise I have ever seen.  This scripture reminds me of what Paul says in Romans 1:20, "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made..." God's created beauty magnetically draws us toward Him. It is our choice, however, to co-operate with that spiritual draw.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Many Faithful; Many Methods


In previously studying The Catechism of the Catholic Church, I either glossed over or blindly ignored the above important truth.  We are not all on the same spiritual plane of maturity; instead, we are at various stages of development and only able to grasp the eternal truth of this Magisterial teaching based on our current life position and spiritual stage. Teachers of Church doctrine, therefore, must be like St. Paul when he says,"To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I might by any means save some (1 Corinthians 9:22)." Evangelization and teaching must convey charity first, knowing that not all the faithful can or are ready to grasp all truth. But through grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, the faithful will grow closer to Christ at the hands of care-filled, loving instruction. 
As a humble learners we need to adapt to the same principle.  There is objective truth, but because we are all not on the same level of spiritual maturity, the gift of acceptance and learning cannot come through our forcing or rejecting the issue. Accepting and internalizing revealed truth comes through grace, prayer, Scripture, the sacraments, and in God's loving time. The latter is sometimes difficult, for it requires patience and obedience to God's will. Other than our cooperation with grace, we are powerless to go beyond our spiritual position in life. It is through humility and personal surrender that we live a life devoted to Jesus Christ, knowing He will lead us to the next stage.  And in that stage, whether the path is full of thorns or roses, we will be drawn closer to Him.