Sunday, June 22, 2008

Knowing Jesus

Jesus wants us to know Him. Matthew 22, tells us to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. A lot of times it seems like the soul part of that tends to come naturally. My soul longs for something more (a.k.a God) without much work on my part. My mind tends to be easily satisfied - not to say that my mind grasps all of God, rather to say that it is easy to read and think, which help to satisfy loving God with my mind. My heart is a different story. Proverbs 3:3 tells us to "write these things on the tablet of our hearts." My heart should be so much a part of what my soul longs for and my mind understands that those things are actually written on my heart itself. I read that, and I immediately ask myself two questions: What does that mean? How in the world do I make it happen in my life? The first question is one I have asked myself many times. I remember sharing my frustrations involving this topic with a retreat small group once. I shared how I knew Jesus in my head, but I couldn't seem to get my heart on board. It was on that retreat that I learned this story about Blessed Mother Theresa. She heard her calling to form the religious order she began while on a train ride. That was the last time in her life that she felt God's presence in prayer. We don't have to look hard to see how much she loved God. It resonated from her very life. It is through this story that I came to understand how to know and love God in my heart. I was able to see the mistake I was falling into. In my quest to get my heart in the game, I was chasing after a feeling. I wanted to feel God in my prayer. I wanted to feel Him in my life. Blessed Mother Theresa's story showed me that it isn't about a feeling, after all she knew God with her heart for years without feeling Him there. When we look at her life we see, through her actions that she loved God with her heart. From this I learned that knowing and loving God in my heart changes the way I live. All of the knowledge I have in my head is known also in my heart when I allow it to transform me. When I know it in my heart it changes the way I live, the way I pray, and the way I listen to and read scriptures. This is the beginning of what I think is the answer to the second question: how do I do this? How do I get the knowledge from my head to my heart? The answer I think is simple. I just have to allow what I know in my head and long for in my soul to change the way I live. I have to let it dictate who I am.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

From the Book: To Know Christ Jesus (Sheed) Post 2

"The Holy Family was a family - not a mother and a son with a man in the house. Joseph and Mary were husband and wife, and Jesus was son of both; Mary's son by birth, Joseph's son because Joseph had accepted him, which for Jewish law was decisive. Joseph was the head of the house. ... Joseph was not simply a man living in the house. He was the head of the house, and within the family his word was law." (pgs 70 and 71) When I first read the last sentence of this, I laughed a little. I thought to myself, 'this family is made of a woman conceived Immaculately, God incarnate, and a carpenter. Still, it was the carpenter that was head of the family.' God really does work in amazing ways. This shows me not only the great importance of having the husband leading the family (which reminds me to keep this in mind in my desires for my own future spouse - God willing), but also how God does not discriminate. He has a GREAT plan for everyone. It does not matter who I am, where I've come from, or how many smarter, holier, more devout people I am surrounded by. (surrounded by amazingly holy people as I often am blessed enough to be, it is easy for me to fall into the mindset that these things do matter) God has a specific role for me to play, and He will me enable me to fulfill that role as long as I trust Him to do so (as St. Joseph did).