A monsoon of grace
“If I wish my interior city to agree with, to resemble that of the ” immortal King of ages,” and to shine with the great illumination given by God, I must first extinguish every other light, so that the Lamb may be its only Lamp.”
(St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, The Praise of Glory)
This ‘Month of the Holy Souls’ gives us much to reflect upon. It took just one man’s sin, Adam’s, for all of mankind to inherit its effect of concupiscence (Genesis 3:6; 1 Corinthians 15:21). He and Eve were willing to risk losing friendship with God for all of eternity; am I? Jesus warns us of what happens to those who lead His children astray (Matthew 18:6); how have my sins, even the small ones, led or pushed others away from Him? Even for those who have lived a virtuous life, it takes just one mortal sin to lose Jesus forever.
Yet our Father’s grace is more powerful than all of the sinful acts throughout time. And He is ever by our side, waiting to help us return to His embrace. It is at His seeking, His desiring of me that I marvel. Just as His love is personal for each of us, His mercy is infinite. He wants each of us so much that, by our baptism, He has chosen to have us consecrated and set aside for Himself. Despite our own acts of sin and those we suffer from others, He has sustained us through it all unto this very moment in time.
In his first letter to Timothy, St. Paul warns “Some, by rejecting conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith.” (1:19). The Holy Spirit, inspiring St. Luke’s gospel, convicts us with the burning question from Jesus: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (18:8). I must ask myself, in what ways have I made a shipwreck of my faith, contorting it into an ideology that ‘resonates’ with me? When Jesus comes for me at my death (for He will come for each of us personally just as He has in our life) to advocate for me before our Father, will He find any faith in me? Will He find love?
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
(1 John 2:1)
But we know that God our Father is “the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement” (2 Corinthians 1:3). It is natural to fear one isn’t ‘good enough’ for Heaven. Yet it is His desire to cleanse us of sin today, not to shun us because of it. He has everything in place for me to attain eternal life in Him: saints in Heaven interceding for me, souls in purgatory praying for me, and a monsoon of grace raining upon me. Death is the moment when, together, He and I will review my whole life. The decisions made on earth have an eternal impact, molding us into the person we have become while also affecting others. At the end of time, Jesus will return to earth and we will all have the privilege of seeing the effects of our actions have had throughout time.
Near is the day of the Lord in the Valley of Decision.
Ultimately, it is our free-will choice to choose between Heaven or the suffering of eternal separation from love Himself. It is Jesus’ unconditional love that will save us, and our choice to return that to Him must be freely made. Each choice we make this day forms us either for Heaven or Hell. Rather than living to ensure we get what we want out of life, satiating our passions and pride, when we choose to please Him in the process we grow in His likeness. It’s all part of His plan, that by following Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we will reign with Him. Those who have gone before us no longer hunger or thirst because they are fed with joy and praise. They no longer fear as He shelters and protects them. Their tears have been replaced with white robes of the honor due children of God. It is a life without worries, anxiety, or humiliation. And He promises us this peace now in this very moment if we form our lives around His Word and remain attentive to it in our hearts. Let us keep our hearts open wide to the monsoon of grace raining down upon us.
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15)
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊
(Image from Pixabay)
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