19 October 2013

Choose: life or death

Ss. John de Br├ębeuf and Isaac Jogues
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP

St Dominic Church, NOLA

Acknowledge Christ, and he will acknowledge you; deny him, and he will deny you. What's at stake in this choice btw acknowledging or denying Christ? Nothing less than our eternal lives. While we still roam around here on Earth, the stakes may not be eternal but they are no less dire. Choosing btw acknowledging Christ or denying him sets us on a razor's edge, carefully balancing our spiritual lives over a great chasm. Think in terms of light and darkness; purity and impurity; health and disease. Think in terms of good and evil; love and indifference; hope and despair. We are constantly being assaulted by the minions of our decadent culture to give up this silly idea that our choices are so black and white; that there are natural consequences to our actions; that we can know right from wrong. And there is some small truth here. Most of our daily choices aren't so clear-cut. Most of what we have to do to survive and thrive sorely tests our ability to distinguish good from evil. However, one choice—the cardinal choice—molds our hearts and minds into a holy pattern: acknowledge Christ or deny him.

This cardinal choice must be made every hour, every minute of the day, every day for as long as we live. Every choice we make, every decision we take is either an acknowledgment of Christ or a denial of Christ. Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No b/c the choice—every single time—is a choice btw Life and Death. Between life and death eternal. If you choose a life with Christ, there's no guarantee that the life you live here and now will be miraculously easier. In fact, just the opposite is true. Those who choose to live with Christ are promised anything but an easy life. Christ's command to love and his commission to preach his Good News to the nations guarantees a life lived under a sword, a life lived at the very edge of violence and persecution. Why? Because our public witness to God's mercy to sinners is poison to the body of the world, and the world will fight us like an infection. The Enemy hates forgiveness, reconciliation, and hope. He hates the light of Truth and will fight those who shine this light on his lies. When you choose to acknowledge Christ, you choose martyrdom. You choose to die—before you die—as a witness, as one who bears testimony to the saving power of God and loving sacrifice of Christ on his Cross.

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1 comment:

  1. Short and to the point. Appreciated the reminder in the 2nd paragraph - I keep wanting that rose garden, forgetting all the thorns that are invariably there. Thank you!