Friday, February 03, 2006

Where is our focus?

Man was made with a deep hunger for God. Sometimes in our life's journey, we try to fulfill that hunger in ways that set ourselves up for disappointment. When we run across a person or group who seem to have the answers we need, there is always a danger that we will make that person (or organization) "the Answer" in place of God.

Father Joe, in his Piece of the Puzzle blog says,
I would urge our Catholic people to avoid hero worship, or if they must, then turn to the canonized saints of the Church. They have run the race and have received their crown of victory. Living mortal men can be indecisive and in every occupation they can seriously disappoint us by their flaws and/or subsequent actions. Trust the Lord and our saving faith, not weak men.

It is so easy, in the first flush of excitement over discovering a new spiritual practice or theory, to put all our spiritual eggs in one basket and think we have arrived. Before we know it, we begin to think that our salvation depends solely upon following one type of spiritual practice or another when those things exist only as helps towards holiness and not ends in themselves.

On the other hand, neither are we to "throw away the baby with the bathwater" and assume that we are to have a generic, whitewashed faith that is devoid of spiritual practice altogether.

Balance between these two extremes can be found in the teaching of the Church. The Church is neither "conservative" nor "liberal", neither Republican nor Democrat. The discipline that comes from following the Church's teachings, even if some of them may inevitably go against our personal tastes, helps to keep us humble and truly centered.

Let's pray that we always keep our eyes on the real goal, which is life in Christ.

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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