Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Real Presence. Or Sometimes God is Subtle and Sometimes He's Not

Last night my daughter's confirmation sponsor invited her to Mass this morning and then breakfast after. When my daughter told me this I realized that I was on vacation, not doing a darn thing and the idea of attending a weekday Mass hadn't even dawned on me.With that I decided that I would go to Mass this morning too.

When I woke up this morning the reality of the "Real Presence" was on my mind. This is a Catholic doctirine that states that the Eucharist becomes truly and fully, not symbolically or partially, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. As I was sitting and waiting to leave for Mass I was moved to compose this facebook check-in for when I arrived at the Church.

I had hoped at the time that this would make a difference to someone else. That maybe it would inspire some soul to become more fervent about what happens at Mass. What I think it really did was to cement the importance for me in what I have come to take for granted. It actually served to inspire me to reevaluate the truths that I know and believe. Fr. drove this point home in his homily when he pointed out far to often we think "I did this or I did that" but really it is God who is doing for us.

On Wednesday mornings I am a scheduled adorerer at Our Lord at the Mother of the Blessed Sacrament Perpetual Adoration chapel. One book available in every seat at the chapel is titled "My Daily Eucharist." I have read every entry in the book several years ago and rarely pick it up now. This morning it was the first thing I grabbed. I opened it to the entry for today and this is what I read
Sometimes God directs, leads, and moves about my life in very subtle ways and I really have to sit down and pay close attention to discern, understand and follow. Other times like today though it's kind of like being "hit up side the head" with a 2x4.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

True Contentment

 Sometimes it is good to sit back and evaluate your life, where you are and where you want to be and when you get there will it really be all that you thought it would be?. We seem to spend an awful lot of time chasing happiness. What makes you happy? What is it that will finally satisfy you? Do you know?

I can remember just out of high school thinking if I could just find a job where I made $300.00 a week I wouldn't ever need any more than that. I got that job and I remember thinking if I could just get that full time job that paid $12.00 an hour and offered health insurance I would be set. I got that job and began searching for a way to just make $40,000 a year. The pattern continues through out my life. I reach what I thought was the goal and a new goal appears. I could recite a similar pattern with things. If I only had this car or that phone or this television life would be grand! It feels like it is never-ending because it is never-ending. Money and things never bring contentment. In fact they just seem to feed and fuel an insatiable appetite.

Part of the problem is with how we have come to define happiness. It seems like we equate happiness with some nearly euphoric feeling. I don't think this is what true happiness is though or perhaps happiness is this but we chase happiness thinking that is is what we want when what we really need is satisfaction or contentment. With contentment we can stop chasing and just be.

So what brings contentment then? When we fulfill our purpose. In other words, contentment comes through living for what we were created for. Were we created to endlessly pursue things that bring only momentary happiness at best. No, we were not.

Lucky us! It is so simple to find contentment. We were created to love and be loved. Not the "love" that popular culture has tricked us into believing in, no that is lust and is no different than the other pursuits above. True love, the giving of oneself to another without reservation and without exception. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us what our purpose is and it is to be loved by God and in turn to love and serve God.

'Of all visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator". He is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake", and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity' CCC: 356

This is such a joyful thing because we can all do this no matter life's circumstance. There is nothing standing in our way of finding contentment today. No more chasing!