Sunday, April 7, 2019

“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”

For a stalk to grow or a flower to open there must be time that cannot be forced; nine months must go by for the birth of a human child; to write a book or compose music often years must be dedicated to patient research ...To find the mystery there must be patience, interior purification, silence, waiting. - Pope John Paul II: (was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.)

Scripture Text: (PHIL 3:8-14)
Brothers and sisters:
I consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things
and I consider them so much rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
not having any righteousness of my own based on the law
but that which comes through faith in Christ,
the righteousness from God,
depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection
and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death,
if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

It is not that I have already taken hold of it
or have already attained perfect maturity,
but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it,
since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, I for my part
do not consider myself to have taken possession.
Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

When gold is tried in fire, impurities are burned away. The gold becomes more pure, which is to say that it becomes more “gold-like”, which is to say that it becomes more itself. It’s the same with an individual human person—such as yourself—when you purify your heart of foreign desires: desires foreign to the nature of the human heart. In the language of the First of the Ten Commandments: when you purify your heart of “strange gods” (or “alien gods”), your heart becomes more pure: more “human-like”, which is to say that you become more who God created you to be. It’s as simple as Saint Augustine’s famous confession to God: “You stir man to take pleasure in praising You, because You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”

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