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For What We Were Made

For What We Were Made October 20, 2021

We were made for love, not use.  This first reality of our being, is the essence of why we crave affection, attention, affirmation and acceptance like oxygen in our daily lives. We long to feel certain that we won’t be rejected, and devise all sorts of ways to hide whatever it is about ourselves we fear others will reject.  To teach our culture, so rooted in use, of something better, we need to stop thinking as man does –about everything, and mirror Christ. 


Love is sacrifice, a gift.  Christ handed himself over, allowed Himself to be mocked, to be condemned, crucified and killed. Before He entered into His passion, in His ministry, He called, He healed, He taught.  He offered.  Priests, the Pharisees, even the Apostles tried to use Him; inviting Him to dinner, asking questions designed to put Jesus “on their side,” or wanting favor and titles. (Sitting at His right and left hand for example).  Jesus never let Himself be used, but in all things offered something better than use, the way, the truth and the light.  

 

All use is manipulative.  It is treating other persons as means to an end, or our relationship with them as a means to an end.   All use mutilates or warps God’s gifts.  All use is a pollution of God’s original plan.  

When we use the Earth rather than act as stewards, we waste something of God’s gift, we leave behind more than we took, because we do not see beyond our desire to use. The gift of creation is ours, and we  have dominion, but we’re likewise the keepers, and must act to help both all and each one we encounter.  Our policies and laws and industries and arts and people to a person, should reflect that both and quality of service and restoration in all things.  Allowing us to see the consequences of our acts, the physical scars where we’ve finished using the Earth, where we’ve done damage, is a way God illustrates with the physical world, what happens to the souls we likewise use for our own purposes that are not God’s will.  It leaves behind a mess far beyond what we intended, and which in some cases seems impossible to fix. 

A friend asked the question, how do we act, why should we persist in doing all we can, when others do not?  Hers was a sincere question about helping to conserve and protect the environment.  The answer is never despair.  The answer is always, act in hope.  



The same remains true about our personal relationships, each of them.   When we use our faith to demand another behave as we would wish, we are using the gift of the Church as a club, when it is always and every time, an invitation.  We are treating the gift of Catholicism in all its richness, like a club to beat souls into, and at the same time, treating the gift God offers as for members like us only.   Both responses are warped, sinful responses  that lead no one to Christ.  Jesus ate and dined with sinners.  Jesus seeks the lost.  Jesus seeks those who think their scars cannot be made whole.  Jesus does not collect them as if they were possessions, He loves them.  He invites them to follow.  He proposes, never imposing, so that all witness of loving Christ, is solely the response of that soul to God’s grace. 


How do we square that reality of total freedom to follow Christ with God’s plan, with how people are often vessels of grace for other people?  Doesn’t God use the saints to convey the message of His love and grace?  Yes.  God allows His grace to flow out onto the world, onto us constantly.  When we offer ourselves freely to God, we remove all impediments to His love, and miracles happen.   Jesus could do few healings where the community revealed itself unwilling to respond to His invitation, where there was a poverty of faith. 

All love is an offering of self-sacrifice, willing the good of another over our own selves, even our own preferences.  Saints offer themselves on a constant basis, as willing vessels of God’s grace. To be disciples, we must root out all the ways in which we do not love those around us in all our interactions.  We must be kind because each soul needs kindness, more than anything else we might have to offer.  It is not easy. However, when we cooperate with God, when we cease trying to curry favor, win honor, or an argument, much of what plagues our hearts evaporates. 

By confirmation, we become fuller hosts of the Holy Spirit, stronger witnesses of Christ.  In the mass, Christ sends us out with the commission to help bring about the ongoing healing of the world, both to a person and across time.   The mission is eternal, because God is love and God is infinite.  We were made for infinite love, infinite self sacrifice, infinite offering of ourselves to God as a vessel of His grace to all the Earth for all time.  This is the reality of every saint –and it is God’s will for each of us.

We were made for love, not use in all things.


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