"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If Only this saint were still alive.

Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.” - Thomas Aquinas

A great quote by, but in my humble, puny human wisdom, I would propose a fourth item necessary: the courage to take those "oughts" and put them into practice.  That is my struggle.  I know with all my being that I want to know, love and serve God.  I know that I should only desire things that are pleasing to Him and are good for my soul.  I know that I ought to always seek his will in all I do.  So, I guess a person has to ask him or herself, why do I struggle?  Is it selfishness with my time?  Laziness?  Cowardice?  This then begs another question, maybe I don't know what I ought to believe, ought to desire, and do, because if I did, I would just do it! Maybe pride has tricked me into thinking I know more than I actually do.

We could drive ourself crazy with wonder.  So, how does one sort this all out?  Who does one listent too?  In today's unending mass of 30,000 plus protestant religions, atheism, cults, liberals and radicals, how does an individual decide and guide our beliefs, desires and actions? There are many Christian faiths that have "some" truth, but what may be truth at Baptist church A may not be truth at Babtist church B.  I hears a speaker the other day who was questioning two protestant pastors of the same denomination, where he ended up receiving two totally different answers.  The man asked each pastor, "How am I to know which one of you is correct?"  The pastors replied, "I guess you have to decide which on of us you think is holier."

 Did you know that there exists an entity who's teachings on faith and morals has NEVER changed in 2000 + years?  Whose "keys to the kingdom" have a direct descention from Christ himself-  Who is universal- Who holds the complete fullness of the faith.  Who gives us the true body and blood of Christ, not a memorial meal.  There is no ambiguity-only infallibility.  I came into this truth 16 years ago, and yes, I still struggle at times with the three things St. Thomas speaks of, but, I now have a faith, when embraced and lived, will ALWAYS lead me to the truth.  Pax et bonum!

(Stayed tuned for the next post, "My story of Conversion-from protestanism to the sacraments."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

A friend of mine recently voiced this statement as she apologized for not sending a note she had intended to send my daughter way back in August.  I laughed nervously as she said it, for I too, have had many "intentions" that I have begun, and then let slide by the wayside...this blog being one of them.  Why do we as humans get into this rut?  We start out with great ideas and projects-never to come to fruition.  Like that pile of knitting sitting in my corner-the ideas was for myself, my daughter and my sister-in-law to knit mittens and hats for the less fortunate, this idea being hatched back in October!  Or how about the endless "thank you's" that I still have to make and mail to all of those who have helped us on our daughter's journey with cancer?  Then there are the many "kid" projects we have started-still growing, or left unpainted.  LOL.  I laugh, but there is also a certain sense of sadness.  Why did I feel the need to start these projects?  Out of a sense of duty? For fun? For love of the hobby?  Why?  What if these ideas are something God has planned for my life, and I'm letting them rot in the corner?  What if my "intention" is intended for the good of another?

We have all fallen into this trap.  I'm just digging out of one myself as I write this.  I have had to "examine my conscience" and ask myself, "Am I doing all these things out of a desire to promote oneself, whether it be through adulations, a false humility (in other words pride), or am I doing these things out of a true desire to bring joy to that of another or to lift up those around me?" I know what reason God wants it to be.

My friend's statement was directed at herself, but my toes were stomped on by a shoe the size of Paul Bunyan!  So, God calls me back to his Word, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."    Now we can spout out all sorts of excuses as to why this and that have not gotten done, I know, I'm the queen of excuses (that's for another post), but we all need to examine the "whys" and what is it that God would really have us to do with our time.  Our time can be spent on projects for enjoyment-making those paper snowflakes for the kids, for the good of society-making mittens for the unfortunate, but we must always seek God's will, even in the little things-from beginning to end,  nothing is worth doing if it is unpleasing in the eyes of our Lord.