The Catholic Defender: Altar Egos
"Thus says the Lord: You say, "The Lord's way is not fair"! Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, and does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die" (Ezekiel 18:25-28).
Can you imagine anyone calling the Lord "unfair"? This is a presumption of an ego that reveals much about such a person.
Living in the "me" generation, we have been living specifically for what "I" want. What "I" want, when "I" want it.
Even in matters of listening to the Church, we interject "I" when it comes to discernment of his truth.
There is an expression: "my way or the highway"! This means basically that one is going to do something his or her own way, or not at all.
I think often times we adopt that same attitude in our understanding and relationship with God. The Bible and teachings of the Church are fine and wonderful until they conflict with our own personal agenda, and then when we may fall into the temptation of discarding those aspects that challenge us.
Worse, there are many who twist the Gospel and the Church to fit their own world view based on their private experience, and reinterpret Scripture to justify that experience.
Let's face it: being Catholic is not easy, and Scripture and the teachings of the Church can, at times, be difficult to integrate into our lives.
But God is constantly moving us to transformation just as He did the tax collectors and prostitutes, and just as they were able to give up their former life, with God's help, so can we. What areas in our spiritual lives need attention?
Are we bringing that to God when we come to Mass or in personal prayer time? If so, we can be confident that God can and will effect the changes we need to make in our lives.
Do we allow our "Altar Ego" to take over or do we surrender to the will of God in our lives? Our society is becoming more and more secular and the Church is becoming more and more counter cultural.
For some of us it might not be popular to take stands for Christ in out lives. Politically, there are many who want to take Christ out of public life. To eradicate Christianity out from public life. The Pop culture, the political environment, the social order has radically changed to a more secular society.
As Catholics, we need to return back to the basics. To become more committed in establishing our faith in our own families. We need to equip our young people giving them a more firm foundation based on the teachings of the Catholic Faith.
Deepertruth and others have been writing about these issues for a while now, but this is going to be a constant battle as the boundary lines fluctuate with give and take maneuvering. We surrender an inch and the Secularist take a mile. It is most important that the people of God recognize the Gospel and follow it.
Philippians 2:1-11 says, "Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, think one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others. Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".
Do you catch what St. Paul is saying in this text? We are called to be encouraged by our Catholic Faith, to participate with love in the wholeness of our Faith.
We are to show compassion and mercy united in the same mind and heart. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians saying this: "I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10).
St. Paul is being clear and consistent. Clearly, we are not to seek our own personal agenda, our own selfishness rooted in our own "vainglory" but to humbly submit to the Church.
St. Paul gives Jesus as the supreme example as he took on the role of a servant. The Lord humbles the high and mighty, and he lifts up the poor in spirit giving them the Kingdom of God.