09/05/2017 - "DON'T SETTLE FOR LESS!"

DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS!

Our Catholic Church has been so blessed through the faith, teachings and passion of Peter Kreeft! Hopefully, many of us have benefited and experienced a growth in our faith through Peter’s book, Jesus Shock, which all of us received at Easter.

THE AWE, WONDER, AND AMAZEMENT THAT THE PRESENCE, ACTIONS AND WORDS OF JESUS INSPIRE!

In his book, Peter did a splendid job showing how throughout the Gospels the very PRESENCE, ACTIONS, AND WORDS of JESUS generate a sense of awe, wonder, and amazement. Peter gave several clear examples of each. At times, it was simply His PRESENCE that caused a sense of wonder and amazement to arise. In other moments, it was His ACTIONS that caused those who witnessed them to be filled with awe. And, when our Savior spoke, those who heard His WORDS were filled with wonder.

Saint Paul, as he placed himself before the whole mystery of salvation, overflowed with wonder as he exclaimed: “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” St. Peter in the Gospel, when our Lord asked the apostles: “Who do you say that I am?” exclaimed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” We can only imagine the sense of awe that filled Peter’s soul as the Father revealed His Son to him!

THIS VERY SAME PRESENCE OF JESUS IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT!

Peter Kreeft then went a step forward and showed how the very same PRESENCE, ACTIONS, AND WORDS of JESUS are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Peter showed how throughout the history of the salvation, the saints have been filled with awe, wonder and amazement before and in the PRESENCE of JESUS in the Eucharist.

So, why have we lost our sense of awe, wonder, and amazement in the PRESENCE of JESUS?

To begin to answer this question, we’re going to take an expedition to the North Pole! I need to get you out of your comfort zone and away from familiar surroundings so that you can see clearly, think and understand more deeply.

OUR EXPEDITION TO THE NORTH POLE

Upon arrival at the North Pole, we are going to fix our attention on a man named Joe. Joe lives in a small log cabin that is part of a settlement in the North Pole. We notice that Joe’s log cabin is cold, dark, and very drafty. There really is much movement in the home. We peak through the windows and see that there is a fireplace, but Joe has no kindling nor any logs. As we observe Joe, we notice that once a week he goes to a lodge at the center of the settlement. The lodge is amazing! It is filled with light, warmth, and joy. We are not able to go into the lodge, but we do notice that when Joe leaves something amazing has happened to him. He carries, close to his heart, a beautiful flame that gives out an immense amount of light and warmth. It is so nice to see the light and warmth of that flame transform the face of Joe! The second Joe leaves the lodge though, the winds immediately try to blow out his flame. Joe does an amazing job of keeping the flame going. Once Joe gets home to his cabin, wow! His cabin is filled with the light and warmth from that flame. We watch Joe place the flame in his fireplace, but because he has no kindling and no logs, that flame gives light and warmth to Joe’s home for only a few hours, a day at the most. Joe still goes to the lodge once a week, still comes out with the same flame, but we notice a change in Joe. He is becoming somewhat cynical. As great as that flame is, he knows it won’t last. Soon we can tell that, although Joe faithfully goes to the lodge, his heart and mind are not in it.

This image does help us answer our question about how it is that we lose our own sense of awe, wonder, and amazement in the PRESENCE of JESUS.

LITTLE OR NO IMPACT ON OUR DAILY LIVES

If what we experience in Church on Sunday has very little or no impact on our lives Monday through Saturday, then, yes, it’s hard to get excited about what happens in Church. Let me give you an example. When we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are renewing our own personal covenant with Him to love all the people in our lives the same way He loves us. Yet, if we don’t do this: if husbands don’t lay down their lives for their wives and vice a versa; if children don’t love their parents with a humble, generous and obedient love; if we don’t love our children in the same way the Lord loves us . . . well, then what we receive on Sunday has very little impact on our lives. When we wake up Monday morning, all the same crap is waiting for us.

NO MEANS TO CHANNEL WHAT WE RECEIVE

Another thing. If we don’t have any kindling, logs, and a well-insulated home, then the flame we receive on Sunday won’t last. If we don’t have the means to channel the light and warmth we receive from Jesus to fill our entire lives, Monday through Saturday, then why would we get excited about Holy Mass?

  1. MICHAEL AND FR. PETER ARE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!

Our Archbishop’s leadership, together with that of Pope Francis, has inspired Fr. Peter and I to address this situation very intentionally. Coming soon, in September, Fr. Peter and I will begin to preach a homiletic series entitled, “THE LOVE OF CHRIST URGES US ON!” We will be preaching on five different focus topics. We will dedicate anywhere from four to seven weeks on each topic. The whole purpose of this homiletic series is to accompany you, step by step, to spiritually insulate your home and to discover the unending supply of kindling and logs that your faith offers you. The five focus topics are: STRONG RELIANCE ON DAILY PRAYER, IMMERSED IN THE SCRIPTURES, NOURISHED BY THE SACRAMENTS, LOVE OF BRETHREN, and GO FORTH. Fr. Peter and I are very enthused about this wonderful opportunity to accompany you so that you can discover how to channel all that Jesus gives you on Sunday to provide an amazing warmth and light to your entire lives, Monday through Saturday.

Wishing you a blessed week and remember to pray for each other.

Fr. Michael