Friday, February 3, 2012

What it takes

One who desires a superior life goes through the process of purification until he becomes the "true" bride of Christ, that is to say, one body with him.

Christ, the perfect bridegroom gifted [sacrificed] his "whole self" in order that we too might become pure as he is - through him. On our own, we are incapable of purifying ourselves and no action of ours can contribute to this process. We are to freely embrace this gift of salvation [redemption and sanctification] and persevere.

Jesus invites us to believe in Him and "mature" in this faith. This process of transformation of ones inner self [maturing in faith] is much like the process of the purification of silver in the furnace. This demands certain conscious choices to be made against our own nature.

When we persevere in the love of Christ, beyond our comfort levels, vices give way to virtues. Yet we will be weekend by our own nature [manipulated meticulously by the devil] and be tempted like Christ in the desert, falsely convicting us of the futility of being Christ-like, in the backdrop of earthly endowments. Moon no longer shines and stars shimmer no more.

"Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."[John 20:29]

At the end of utter hopelessness, great hope and divine assistance [grace] shines upon us. We are made stronger. We become more of His. Our body and mind desire even strongly to be completely captive to His will. Our consolation and joy would come from Him alone. No one can give or steal this Joy that wells up from the font Christ's infinite love.

Every moment now becomes an opportunity to honor God, either by embracing or rejecting what comes by. Since we are incapable of paying back to God for His immense goodness, we are to generously dispense goodness to others.We serve Christ in others.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." [Mathew 25:40]

Whenever we render a good deed to another, we are to stay focused on the Lord and not so much on what we are doing. This way we serve Christ himself while serving the other. Remain in Christ always, like the branch and the vine. This constant remaining alone nourishes us to yield good fruits.

"Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit" [Mathew 7:17]

Pope Benedict calls this "Patient steadfastness" in all life's changing times. The romanticism of the initial awakening subsides and only the deep, conscious "yes" of faith remains as we mature in our walk with the Lord. We produce good wine [fruit of our labour] only by the way of "Patient steadfastness".

Wounding strokes are good medicine for evil. Blows have good effect on the innermost self  [Proverbs: 21:30]