Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

God pursues us for a reason

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To let others know that our lives are important and that God pursues us for a reason

“How many times do we hear: 'Come on, you Christians, be a little bit more normal, like other people, and be reasonable!' This is real snake charmer's talk: 'Come on, just be like this, okay? A little bit more normal, don't be so rigid ...' But behind it is this: 'Don't come here with your stories, that God became man!' The Incarnation of the Word, that is the scandal behind all of this! We can do all the social work we want, and they will say: 'How great the Church is, it does such good social work." But if we say that we are doing it because those people are the flesh of Christ, then comes the scandal. And that is the truth, that is the revelation of Jesus: that presence of Jesus incarnate.”  ― Pope Francis, Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday

The Word become flesh is a belief that is truly a scandal to many. It is so ‘unspiritual’, unenlightened and yes even mundane when looking in from the outside. Yet we are called to see Christ Jesus is all we meet, especially in those who challenge us, make us stretch and deal with our ingrown prejudices. To truly see the other as a child of God is to ‘heal’, for labels drop away and the worth and the depth of the so called ‘least among us’ is truly seen. The true scandal I believe is that the world is the way it is because we Christians (myself included) have yet to understand the reality of ‘Christ with us’ in all of its intimacy and love. Though there is no doubt many exceptions to this; I sad to say am not one of them.

We are told not to judge but to love. To speak the truth in gentleness but to get to the heart of the matter without seeking to dominate, or control, is how we are called to share with others. To show the world that sin is a reality and the true pain of our souls, as well as its prison masquerading as freedom. To let others know that our lives are important and that God pursues us for a reason, for if we do not respond to God’s grace, we shall only have ourselves for eternity, a state of alienation from all others and hatred of God. Many do not want to face this reality, the deep significance of their lives and their everyday choices in how they love or do not love others.

In the end we are called to let go of judgments of others, a truly heavy burden that also does harm to the soul; for as Christ says in judging others we are in reality judging our own reflection. Only Christ can judge and his judgments are true, based on love and true justice, our judgments are often based on prejudices and an attempt to not look at ourselves. True humility leads us to love and have compassion on our fellow human beings who Christ Jesus gave his life blood for.

In prayer we touch all, in that we truly live out our vocation as a priestly people.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery

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