Deacon Blog March 16, 2019
A Battle for Our Souls
A few weeks ago I attended the funeral of my beloved brother-in-law who passed away. Because my family shares a deep faith in GOD, a lot of our time was spent discussing “themes” of Church and how we see its presence in the world. During this very cherished time home I had a “trunk-load” of conversations with my siblings over everything from our jobs to the participation of our children in the Church…and everything in between. We discussed our own journeys and the “wisdom” acquired over the years. We discussed our faith and the current events of clergy abuse and Church scandal across the globe. We laughed a lot, we cried a lot, and held each other tight while we reminisced the life of someone who touched us all deeply. While I sat listening to all the lively chatter, I found myself profoundly moved by the realization of what my life could have looked like if I had not been gathered up into the arms of my Godmother as a teenager and loved into a relationship with the FATHER. Where would I have ended up… where would I have found my happiness? I say this because at this point in my life, living without Jesus is beyond my comprehension…and scares me to death. For the record, my Godmother was often sitting next to me, holding my hand as we laughed and spoke of funny stories or heartaches we’ve experienced (she is 88 years old this June).
There are nine kids (I am #10), 56 grand-kids, and 78 great grand-kids and many of them live in a 25-mile radius. Some are married, some divorced, some have children and some are childless. Many are active believers in GOD and practice their faith in different ways, but they seek goodness in their lives and for that we parents are most grateful. But, as you can probably assume from the title, conversations touched on the struggles we feel as we encounter the temptations of our world. While I generally avoid the term “warfare”, this is in fact what it amounts to if you read Genesis and understand the efforts of evil are aimed squarely at our souls and always have been. When you look at history the past 2,000 years, this pursuit seems to have ramped up its efforts beginning the first Easter morning. As Jesus emerged from the tomb, I imagine Satan saying “Okay, it’s on”. But… is it? Is it logical to believe that Satan, a mere angel, has any ability to battle GOD for our souls? In Luke Chap.22, Jesus says to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail…”. Obviously, this speaks to some form of uncertainty about the destiny of our souls. St. Paul says “nothing can separate us from the love of GOD”… but ourselves. We appear to be the weak-link. Our choices and decisions pave our path of holiness. Not achievement, but effort. Even if our house is “a little out of square”, building the kingdom is always a labor of LOVE”.
This is too much for a 600 word blog, but it’s a starting point for reflection as we begin our journey of Lent. What do we treasure most in our lives? It’s critical to remember we have an immunity clause with our Creator… “You shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength… and your neighbor as yourself”. Simple? GOD Bless.
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