Our faith, however, is not based on hollow rituals or oppressive rules. It’s based on an encounter with the person of Jesus, who changes everything. Our relationship with Christ connects us with the origin of our life and the meaning of where we are going. He desires us not to be weighed down but rather to live life to its fullest potential (John 10:10).
When He calls us to live a holy life, it’s because he knows what we are capable of and is drawing our potential out of us like any good sports coach does.
The Apostles couldn’t explain how Jesus rose from the dead but they still spoke the truth because they experienced His rising in person. I couldn’t intellectually or scientifically prove the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (see CCC 1374) yet I proclaimed it as true because I have experienced what Jesus has done for me through the Eucharist.
I’d probably be on my way home, too. Because, in a way, I have felt like they felt. Maybe you have, too.
We’ve been on the great retreats, attended the amazing youth conferences, heard the killer homilies, felt the graces of Confession, gotten into the power of the Triduum. We’ve heard His voice and felt His presence. Everything is working according to plan.
And then, a little time goes by . . . a couple hours, a couple days, a couple weeks. And the feelings are gone. And it feels like Jesus is gone, too.
Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.
In 2011 Lauren “Lolo” Scruggs was living the life any 23-year-old young woman would dream of. She had recently graduated college and had interned at Michael Kors’ studio and the costume department of Gossip Girl. She had reported on Fashion Week in New York, Paris, and Montreal and her online magazine LOLO Magazine was generating lots of industry buzz.
Then, on December 3, 2011, Lauren was hit by the propeller blade of a small airplane and her life was turned upside down. The propeller grazed her skull and left eye and cut off her left hand. She was rushed to the hospital where her parents and twin sister anxiously waited with a room full of friends to hear if Lauren would recover.
Just as his predecessor Blessed Pope John Paul II had done with teaching us all how to die with dignity. Pope Benedict XVI has given the Church a new expression of fully living the Paschal Mystery – that of dying and rising with Christ. It is an amazing example of putting everyone else in front of you in line, so that all humanity can be served. This Pope’s decision was “fearless.”
Now, this is a challenge! This is a battle that will determine if you are a man or not. Put your controllers down when you enter the world, your schools, your jobs, your friend’s house, the store.
You are in a battlefield. A battle for each and every life that you see. You can’t see your enemies, but you can see what’s at stake. We do face “impossible odds” where everything will be fighting against us. Hordes of media and countless lies will be thrown at you to derail you. This isn’t a life for just anyone, this is the life of a real hero.
Spiders. Snakes. Darkness. Heights. Clowns. People wearing a fanny pack . . . Different things elicit different fears in people. Almost everyone has something that causes their heart to race or their nerves to sizzle with anxiety. It’s been said that the number one fear that most people have is, actually, public speaking — far outranking fear of death, which comes in at number two. This fact was not lost on Comedian Jerry Seinfeld who quipped, “Which means most people at a funeral would Read more [...]