Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling….. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:2,5 (NLT)
19 So far as the Law is concerned, however, I am dead—killed by the Law itself—in order that I might live for God. I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, Galatians 2:19 (TEV)
“We live in a world where mental ability is rewarded. But the heart is not trained. It just muddles along. Soon we know more and more, and understand less and less. (1) (emphasis mine)
770 When you walk where Christ walked; when you are no longer just resigned to the Cross, but your whole soul takes on its form—takes on its very shape; when you love the Will of God; when you actually love the Cross… then, only then, is it He who carries it. (2)
It was a long, busy weekend, and I am very tired, and thanks to some allergies… wiped out more than usual.
Monday is the longest day of the week for me, most of the time, and I while I love what I do, this day will tire me more. I know it, even as my aging body groans…..
No amount of knowledge will make it easier. I won’t find the strength to endure in my knowledge of Greek, or in being able to discuss the communication of magisterial attributes of Christ. Both things are blessings, but as my prayer book notes, there is a difference of knowing things, of acquiring data, and knowing something, or someone.
I loo around my office, and see the crosses, one painted by a friend, another some fancy hand stitching. Crosses from Ecuador, from the Ukraine, from Rome and Estonia. The latter one where Jesus’ body and ornately molded details have been word away from hundreds of years of people holding it close while they prayed. People who probably could quote the great preachers in history, or the theologian whose works line seminary library walls.
But they knew where to find comfort and peace, in the midst of pain, or anxiety. They went to the cross, and laid out their lives to the One who loved them. It’s why Paul modeled knowing Christ crucified alone, that they would place their trust in God, in Jesus with who they were crucified.
This goes so against the models of the world, which seeks knowledge for the mind, and allows the heart to struggle and barely survive. Even in the church, the focus is again moving towards a unbalanced focus on knowledge, of getting every aspect of theology, even the minutiae known. We see a pursuit to explain the mysteries that are unexplainable, and are meant to be that way. We don’t want to build the tower of Babel, rather a theological equivalent!
But what we need it not knowledge of the material of the cross, or the effective distance of the words of Institution.
we need our souls to live in Christ. To know the height and depth, the width and breadth of His love, of His mercy, of His desire that we would all become His people. That can’t be known with the mind alone. It must be known in our soul, in our heart. That is where the Holy Spirit transforms us (see Ezekiel 36 and 37), as the Breath of God begins our life, and sustains it. (the mind is also transformed, but not just the data storage, but the ability to use that data)
St Josemaria words so resonate here… as do the Celts with Paul. The cross, the place where suffering can make sense, the place of life….that is where we survive Monday. It is where our heart, our soul, our mind find the love of God, and find Him carrying all that afflicts us, indeed, it is where He carries us. For we dwell in Him, in His precious, sacred heart.
So it’s Monday. You may not want to be where you are, you may be dragging, so much so that your pessimism can’t be overcome with three Trente coffees….. that’s okay…
Run tot he cross… cling to the Lord who died there… that you may live in Him forever.
(1) Celtic Prayer Book – Finian Readings for January 25th.
(2) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2768-2770). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.