Devotional Thought of the Day:
18† And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, 19 blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! 20 May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!” And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered. Genesis 14:18-20 TEV
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. 25 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. 26 Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life.
Matthew 16:24-26 (TEV)
Gregory the Great: “In comparison with eternal life, earthly life might just as validly be called death as life. For what else is the daily wear-and-tear and deterioration of life but a long drawn-out dying?” … The question about death is, therefore, imperiously raised by life itself. It presents itself inescapably to anyone who is really concerned about life. But if one is not concerned merely exteriorly with caring for and preserving this life but seeks to fill it with meaning and so to give it its true greatness and potential, such a one will not ignore the question about the sense or senselessness of death.
285 Although you don’t amount to much, God has made use of you, and He continues to make use of you to perform fruitful work again and again for his glory. Don’t put on airs. Think what would an instrument of iron or steel say about itself, when a craftsman uses it to set golden jewelry with precious stones?
One of my favorite treatises on philosophy and apologetics is Douglas Adam’s much acclaimed five-book trilogy known as the Hitchhiker’s Guide ot the Galaxy. With the exception of an odd comment in the prologue, one might think it an Agnostic’s version of Pilgrim’s Progress, or Lewis’s Pilgrim’s Regress.
Journeying through the universe, the characters are searching for meaning, (except the Vogons who simply love to write modern poetry and contemplate the dried snot that escapes them.) It is a hilarious, cynical and sarcastic look at the world, and manmade religions. But it gets to the question – why are we here? What meaning does our life have?
Or a better question, do I have significance in this world? even in my small lonely corner of it?
Can we really stop caring about preserving this life, can we stop trying to delay this long drawn out process of dying, long enough to fill our lives with meaning?
Abraham found significance in life, after having rescued Lot and his family from captivity, as the King/Prince of Peace comes and gives him a meal of bread and wine. It was significant enough for Abraham to give a tenth of his earnings, recognizing this man as having come from God, to provide for and minister to Abraham. (for that is what the tenth is!)
That time with God, eating at His table, with the bread and wine, Body and Blood of Christ is the place where we find significance, it is the place where we are ministered to, because God values us. It starts there, and then, as we dwell in His presence, God uses us, even as the jeweler uses tools of iron or steel ( or aluminum today) to work with the gold and gems.
Our significance comes, not from what God uses us to make, the works he’s planned for us to do, but from the relationship, we have with God. THat He will then use us, our gifts and abilities to do things are indeed wonderful, but it doesn’t matter what is made… it matters the fellowship we have with Him in the process. We are guided by His hand, His eyes not only see what we are doing but imagine the end result we can’t see.
That is an amazing thing…
And as we go about our day, it is what we need to recall, what we need to remember, this presence of God, this walking with Him, because we are loved by Him… we are significant.
Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (I. Grassl, Ed., M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans.) (p. 353). San Francisco: Ignatius Press
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 1378-1381). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1 (Phillips NT)
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
280 If you lose the supernatural meaning of your life, your charity will be philanthropy; your purity, decency; your mortification, stupidity; your discipline, a lash; and all your works, fruitless. (1)
Every so often I find my e-mail and Twitter filled with advertisements or advice for being effective, for improving your impact, Ways to ensure you have meaning in what you do. Go through this program, master these five trips, follow your passion, it seems like everyone has somewhere between three and twelve things to become successful in life.
Josemaria Escriva encourages us to one thing – a simple thing. To enjoy God, to be set apart to Him, to adore Him as you realize that He cares for you, that He loves you. Without it, all of our other actions, our sacrifices, our suffering, our prayers and worship and dedication to orthodoxy, is worthless.
To be blunt, if we live apart from the love of God, if we ignore his presence, we could be Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Martin Luther, John Calvin and St Augustine rolled into one, and we would have wasted our lives.
Yeah – living supernaturally, living dependent on God, having an intimate relationship with God is that important.
Ultimately, without it, nothing else matters, nothing else is worth it. With it, everything becomes an incredible blessing.
This is why baptism matters because God makes you His own as He baptizes you. That is why the Eucharist, Communion, the Lord’s Supper should be CELEBRATED, for the feast is God and man, together. The same can be said for our times talking to God, hearing His voice, meditating on His word and simply resting, confident and secure in His presence.
That is where the peace comes from that we need to know if we are to survive the grind of life. It is where our healing comes into play, where lives are reconciled, where we find that we are God’s work of art.
It is where we find that reality isn’t based on our emotion or our logic, but on His love and what He reveals to us because of that love.
St Paul is clear to the church in Corinth of this very same point – that without the love of God, even it doesn’t matter what we do, we have no value, no worth. But knowing that love? It transforms us and causes us to do that which is amazing, we can bring God glory.
So don’t set aside your time with Him, enjoy it, savor it, relax and have fun with your Father. Everything else will then fall into place.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 745-746). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.