Roman Catholic Parish


May 26, 2019

Dear All,

One of the hard lessons of maturation: you can't have everything. No matter how good how many things may feel, there are times when one must simply choose one feeling and the one stimulus that brings it.

Once we begin to know about God, he becomes one of the possible selections when more than one feeling or stimulus lies before us. The more we get to know him, God becomes the (not one of) possible selection, no matter how many other options are at hand.

It is here that the problem posed last week becomes acute: Why is he not more obvious? How do we know God? How does he feel?

God is not more obvious than he is in the sense that light or air are not obvious; you don't know what your got till it's gone. Thus, to choose consistently something that is not God - the Devil would be an obvious example, but so, too, would maximum financial profit or the death of one's enemies -- means choosing according to one's feelings, rather than objective reality. Such consistent choosing gradually creates a habit of choosing that for all intents and purposes leaves God out of one's life. Because God is like light and air, this means death and darkness, consistently diminished sensitivity to or awareness of.

Obviously, then, we must keep God clearly in our mind when making choices.

And until God becomes a familiar person in our thinking and our desiring, we must be reminded of him and remind ourselves of him over and over again. This is what churches and praying and scripture reading and a thousand other things are for.

Why must God be so hard? Unlike light and air, God is a person. There are two modes of relationship to a person - love and fear. If God is too obvious we will choose him for fear of losing him; loving him will be impossible; he will be forced upon our consciousness. We must choose him as the travelling salesman chooses his wife -- not because there is no other choice, but because of love. But like the husband who has trained himself to think of himself as hers, we must rain ourselves to think of ourselves as God's. If we think we are our own or that we are somehow owned by the economy or our traditions or our past or our genes or our preferences or some determinism or other, then we cannot think of ourselves as his.

Over and over, I am reminded of a phrase from the old Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: we are thine and thine we wish to be. The first is a fact, the second is a choice. There is no chooser without God. Any other choice than God is a kind of suicide; or a real insanity.

How does it feel to choose God? That's a topic for next week - and it should be a trip.

Really and truly yours,



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