The Catholic Defender: Walking Among The Living
St. Paul writes, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord: in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:19-21)
Walking among the living places us with the holy ones of God, those who have already gone before us marked with the sign of faith.
We know how we ought to behave as we are pilgrims in a strange land. St. Paul also writes, "I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth." (1 Timothy 3:14-15).
I remember a common perception in my college days that went like this: In order to accept religion you had to cut that out, you had to give this up, you had to quit what you thought were the "don'ts". With the practice of my faith the past 43 years, I have found that there are more "do's" in the Catholic Faith than there are the "don'ts". If you spend your time doing the "do's" you are not going to have time to do the "don'ts". So if you could, you wouldn't, so everything should be cool!
However, the above is not as black and white as we might think. We have been condition for so long that the "do's" and the "don'ts have become blurred. I think St. Paul gives a very important clue as to why.
St. Paul writes, "Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, for while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 47-10).
The entire purpose of the Church Calendar, all the Church teaching, all the tradition, the scriptures, everything is to give you a fighting chance to win the battle.
The world want you to go for the gusto, to go for broke.
Yet, so many things that lure you into the way of the world causes you to lose yourself, to lose who you are in Christ, a new creature.
We are always hearing the bad things that happen, the statistics that point to the destruction of the family, society, the collapse of all that is holy.
Losing your soul is about the same as having your foundations ripped from beneath you. People are torn apart because of the evil happening all around us.
Walking among the living is a challenge today because the world cannot accept the light of Christ. But it is for the world that the Lord came.
St John writes, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." (John 3:16)
I remember one day, I was driving through the back gate on my way onto Fort Hood when I stopped to show my ID Card to the guard. After a few quick questions, I was able to identify that he had not been practicing his faith for a good while.
The guard was surprised that I called him out on it. I used the opportunity to witness to the Soldier the importance of Faith in our lives and our commitment to live out our faith.
After a few moments I would have to drive on by as other cars were coming up behind me.
I couldn't help but think of the many people who have been walking wounded, the walking dead. Living away from the Lord and His Church.
Last year, I was at the check out line as HEB, a grocery store primarily known in Texas, and struck up a conversation with a lady about the Catholic Faith.
After a few minutes, the Lady and her Son decided to join the RCIA. What a blessing this was as I sponsored them into the Catholic Faith.
Rarely will the news cover such events that tell of the people of God. The news is fixated on reporting on bad news.
We here at Deepertruth love to report on the good news that help people walk among the living.
Living the Commandment, the precepts of the Church. Living the gospel life. The more committed that a person follows the Church, the more faithful the person.
Divorce, abortion, homosexuality, fornication is greatly decreased when families are filled with faith and love.
Strong families foster men who many times decide to become priests and serve God in the most personal way.
Strong families build up children in a life of prayer and faith building strong fathers and mothers who will lead our nation into the next generation.
Our nation and our world is in dire need for those walking among the living. To care for the hungry, the thirsty and the stranger.
To care for the sick and those in need. Even caring for those in prison.
Our Lady of Fatima warns that more souls go to hell because of the sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
To save people from going to hell, it is critical that we dedicate devotion for the sinner, especially the Rosary.
We are to care for the lost and forsaken many of which represents our families.
We are pilgrims living in a strange land, the Sacraments must be our sacred bond with the Lord and each other. We must lead by example for the promise of a better tomorrow.
This Advent is a golden opportunity to prepare for the coming of the King, not simply remembering the birth of Jesus, but also when Jesus returns at His Second Coming, the Parousia. To be fully alive, we must walk by faith and not by sight.