How long have I waited . . .

During the last few fraternity meetings we have been discussing how God reaches out to us through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Penance. Let’s pause for a moment and think about how we reach out to our brothers in this fraternity, to others in the communities where we live, in our families and to the voiceless.

What meaning does the name Christian have, if we do not become like the Master? Christ reaches out to all people at some point in their lives, to some it may be at the 11th hour, just before death. The truth is that no one can bypass Christ.

No one should be able to pass by a Catholic without experiencing something different. They should experience that you’re genuinely interested in them and those things that cause them concern, especially those things that frighten them.

People should experience that you recognize that you are a sinner and joyful, because you do penance knowing that God forgives. There is no sin that is too big for God to forgive. The only sin that He cannot forgive is despair, when we stop believing that he can forgive or we begin to believe that he is so angry with us that he won’t forgive us even if we asked.

If we make regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we don’t have to worry about being forgiven. We can walk through a crowd with serenity, because we know that even if everything else collapses around us, we will not collapse. We are held up by the grace of God that we receive in the sacraments. If that joy and serenity is lacking, we must question our faith in the sacraments, not question the sacrament. It is never God’s fault that we do not take full advantage of what He offers.

Your family and your fraternity must be the first to experience Christ in you. They must be the first to see that you are a son of the Church. What does that mean? It means to learn from Christ as Francis and other saints learned. Francis and the others are simply examples that it can be done, that human beings can become the reflection of perfect love.

Remember the words of St. Augustine. “How long have I waited my Lord.” It was not a question. It was a lamentation. Even though he went on to become one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church, he regretted that he had waited more than 30 years to believe and to live as one who believes, accepting from God and giving to neighbor, perfect love.

Published in: on August 7, 2014 at 7:50 PM  Leave a Comment  

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