Sunday, June 12, 2011

Living as if God Matters

I went to Our Lady of the Angels church this morning, same as I do nearly every Sunday. We celebrated Mass.

So, does that make me some kind of big-whoop spiritual wunderkind? Hardly.

I'm a practicing Catholic: going to church on Sunday is called our Sunday Obligation, and I've written about that before.Going to church at weekly intervals is one thing that didn't change when I became a Catholic. 'Church on Sunday' has been a part of my life's pattern as long as I can remember.


Again, no big deal, from my point of view. I've been following Jesus the Christ as long as I can remember - and worshiping with others once a week, minimum, is pure routine.

Which doesn't mean it's trivial. Spiritual routines are, I think, as important as more mundane ones. More so.

If I decided to stop flossing and brushing my teeth at regular intervals, my breath would stink and terrible things would happen in my mouth. But I suspect that those consequences would not have much of an effect on my eternal status.

If I decided that I didn't have time for my Lord - not even that minimum weekly routine? That is something I don't want to try talking my way out of when I get serious face time with him, at my particular judgment. (May 22, 2011)

Living Like Jesus Matters

I'm not a particularly 'spiritual' person: I don't wander around with clasped hands and a dreamy expression, make a point of shouting "hah-lay-LOO-ya!" at intervals, or spout Bible verses when talking with others.

Actually, I do quote from or refer to the Word of God from time to time - and that's almost another topic.

I may not make a point of 'acting spiritual,' but I take my Lord very seriously. Which is why I try to conform my will to the will of God, and act as if what Jesus taught matters - which, in my considered opinion, it does.

It's because I take Jesus seriously, that I became a Catholic:
"...I decided that I'd sign up with the outfit that my Lord established, almost 2,000 years back now: the Church that's rooted in Eternity; marching through time under the orders of whoever holds the authority of Peter at the current moment...."
(November 9, 2010)
I've discussed my conversion before. Finding out that the authority my Lord gave to Peter had been handed down through an unbroken succession of Popes was a major factor in convincing me that conversion would be prudent.

What makes Peter so special? I don't know: but Jesus decided to re-name Simon son of Jonah - - - You've read it before:
"Jesus said to him in reply, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' "
(Matthew 16:17-19)

Seeing the Big Picture

I could decide to focus on the terrible awful state of affairs in this country and how people don't go to church and how dismal everything is.

I could, but I don't think doing so would make sense.

I follow the risen Christ, the man who claimed to be God - and made the claim stick. Jesus, who was tortured to death, buried - and stopped being dead. The Son of God, who said that the gates of the netherworld would not prevail against the church He built on a man whose name means "rock."1

And I have the word of this Jesus, that He is with His church:
"8 The eleven 9 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 10 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.' "
(Matthew 28:16-20)
We've got a few problems: another rural parish had to close its doors recently. There aren't as many priests in this diocese as there were a generation or so back. Other parts of America are in about the same situation.

But - and I am convinced of this - that's a temporary, regional problem.

Other places are rich in vocations. And I've been over that before. (March 2, 2011)

Bottom line? I don't have to worry about the Catholic Church failing - that's my Lord's concern: and I have His Word that He will be with His church.

Can I trust Jesus? So far, Jesus has a two-millennia record for making good on His promise to keep His Church running. I think His Word is good.

What I need to be concerned about, I think, is living as if God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, matter. That's quite enough to keep me busy.

Related posts:
Background, about the Catholic Church:

1 See Matthew 16, footnote 13, NAB.

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.