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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

The Mystery of God

Saturday, February 11, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for today:

Editor's note: Father Knight had many talents. Unfortunately, computer file management was not one of those talents. Thus, I have so far been unable to locate Fr. Knight's reflections on the daily readings from today until Feb 22 (Ash Wednesday). Consequently, starting today, I will post selections from The Five Promises of Baptism on weekdays. (Full copies of the booklet are available here.) On Sundays, I will post reflections on the Mass readings -- if I can find those files! Pray for me! ~~ Lynne Marie

The most characteristic trait of God's infinite love - and love defines God's infinite Being - is that He never gives up on us. He is steadfast in His love for us even when we fail and vacillate. If we accept God as God, we have to accept that trusting in His love is something we owe Him. We owe it to God to love Him with "all our heart." We also owe it to God to trust that He will keep loving us with all his heart while we are trying and failing to do this.

God is God. He has told us:

My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways... As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.

The context in which he said this was: "Turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God who is generous in forgiving." (See Isaiah 55:7-9.) To accept God as God is to accept his "steadfast love" as something infinitely beyond our power to ask or imagine.

DEALING WITH JESUS AS HUMAN Cardinal John Henry Newman has said that we cannot deal with Jesus as divine and human at the same time. It is essential to keep this in mind if we want to have a truly human relationship with Jesus. This becomes clear when we start getting down to practice. To consciously "be Christ" all day, every day, we need to keep ourselves aware that Jesus is always with us, always in us, always trying to act through us in everything we do. One of the easiest ways to do this is to form the habit of saying the "WIT prayer" all day long: before every work we engage in, before every action we perform!

This is a very easy thing to do. A little initial work may be required to form the habit. You may have to use some "gimmicks" to remind yourself to keep saying this prayer-for example, associating it with going through a door (at home you can put a handkerchief on the knob to remind yourself), turning on the ignition in your car, sitting down at your workbench or desk (make WIT your password or screensaver), or putting a cross or medal where you will see or feel it. The key is to raise your consciousness, keep yourself aware of asking Jesus to act with you, in you, and through you all day long. Once you form the habit-whether you use the WIT prayer or some other means-it costs nothing to keep doing it. That is, it costs nothing unless you keep remembering that Jesus is God! Then you may feel inhibited all day; under pressure to act just like Jesus in everything you do; subject to added guilt when you choose to do something not good, or not as good as God would like it to be.

No one can live with that.

Imagine a couple on their wedding day, each saying to the other, "Darling, I love you so much that I will never say 'No' to anything you ask of me. I will do absolutely everything you desire, all the time."

How long could either one survive that?

In all human relationships, one of the "givens" is that nobody is perfect. We may pledge-and pledge sincerely-undying, unrestricted love for another. But there will be moments when we are just not able (or, to be honest, not willing) to live up to what we pledged. We haven't renounced the pledge. We still embrace it from the heart and are committed to it. We just are not able or willing at this particular moment, in these particular circumstances, to do what we promised to do. That is human nature. That is human life. That is a characteristic of every human relationship. Anyone who cannot accept this fact cannot enter into a human relationship with anyone on a level as deep and demanding as total love.

This is true of relationship with Jesus. If He required as a condition for "living as Christ" living as his body on earth, the guarantee that we would never fail him, he would not have any body on earth!

So all Jesus asks is the "mind set" - deep, sincere desire and determination to love him as God, "with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might." And then He says, "As long as you do accept me as God, deal with me as you would with another human being. Just give me forward motion."

Isn't this consoling?

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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