Monday, September 22, 2008

Fire and Freedom

Before His gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with Him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves... His gaze, the touch of His heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation “as through fire”. But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of His love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God. - Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi
I love the Pope. I love this challenging invitation from the Holy Father, a man anointed and appointed by the Holy Spirit to guide and govern the Church on earth. And though this invitation speaks of great pain, I take the greatest comfort from these "burning" words of his, because... 1. I know they are true, and 2. He has the courage to tell us this truth. Christianity is not a sugar-coated religion, an escape, or a crutch. It is not unrealistic, or naive. It is standing arms outstretched in the midst of scorching winds; it is stepping into the white hot furnace where the three young man danced before an evil king of this world in the Old Testament. It is a New Testament. It is a test, it is our testimony.... a blessed pain, in which the holy power of His love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God. And as a dear professor of theology once told me, "Everything that happened to Jesus must happen to us." So when we find ourselves in this fire of sorrow, then we find ourselves in the best of company.
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