Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Elijah, Disappointing Election Results, and Getting a Grip

From what I've heard, quite a few folks in America feel like this:
  • 'Everybody except me has turned away from God!'
  • 'They've silenced all the other believers!'
  • 'And now they're after me!!'
The presidential election last week didn't come out the way I wanted. I'm disappointed: but not discouraged.

That's partly because I've read about Elijah:
"He replied, 'I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. But the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.' "
(1 Kings 19:14)
Elijah was not having a good day.

He wasn't alone, though. There were at least 7,000 left in Israel who hadn't gone along with the latest thing in spiritual fashions. (1 Kings 19:18) More to the point, God wasn't done with Elijah yet. (1 Kings 19:15)

When the dust settled, the score was: Elijah, 1; Jezebel, 0. (2 Kings 2:11, 2 Kings 9:30-33)

America, Hope, and the Big Picture

I think the next few years in America will be anything but tranquil. I'm cautiously hopeful, though, for reasons I've discussed before:

"Short Term," "Long Term," and Really Long Term

I'm an American, so "long term" can mean planning for late 2013. We're a mildly frantic people.

I'm also a Catholic, so "long term" can mean planning for eternity. (August 27, 2011) I'll get back to that.

A Man Who Wouldn't Stay Dead

A man said "I am God" about two millennia back. Then:
  • The authorities had him executed
    • Publicly
    • Between two criminals
  • He was
    • Pronounced dead
    • Buried
    • Mourned
  • He stopped being dead
After that remarkable come from behind victory over death, I think it's prudent to take Jesus seriously.

Worry-Free, No; Final Victory, Yes

Jesus didn't guarantee a worry-free life for anyone. He did, however, give us a few assurances:
"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."
(Matthew 16:18)

"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 28:18-20)
My Lord broke the power of sin and death, (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, Philippians 2:8, Romans 5:19-20; Catechism, 411, 420, 654, 1505)

Jesus told disciples, wannabe and otherwise, to "...follow me...."1

Then my Lord marched through Hell. (Ephesians 4:8-10; Catechism, 631)

Remembering that, I think I can put up with disappointing election results.

That He ... Might Make Men Gods"

In a sense, life is the ultimate high stakes game. Depending on what I do with my life, I'll spend eternity with God: or not. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 988-1014)

I'd intended to discuss this bit from the Catechism today:
"The Word became flesh to make us 'partakers of the divine nature':78 'For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.'79 'For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.'80 'The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.'81"
(Catechism, 460)
We don't get the abilities, the attributes, of God. Catechism, 460, is talking about our being given a divine nature.

That reminds me of Genesis 1:27, among other things. I've mentioned this attribute/nature thing before:
There's more to say about divine nature, eternal life, and the grace of God. (Catechism, 1996, for starters) But that will wait for another day.

Related posts:

1 "Follow me:" Matthew 16:24-25; Matthew 19:21; Mark 2:14; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23, 9, Luke 18:22; John 1:43; John 21, 19.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

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.