Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Unexpected Change of Events

Well it has been a ridiculously long time since my last blog post and it would appear that now is just as good a time as any to resume once again. A month ago I would have figured I’d be pleasantly enjoying (well probably not pleasantly enjoying) my training with the U.S. Army, but as it goes I have found myself along a different and altogether unexpected path. After a week of doctor’s appointments, it appears the Army docs are placing me on hiatus. It’s very long and complicated story which I have had to repeat far too many times to go into much detail here, but all I can really do is relax, pray, and go with the flow.

And since I find myself at home once more, what could be better than write a blog post or two? Well, yeah, visiting family and friends – but I’m doing that, too. But I’ve also taken a good deal of time to reflect and pray and writing more here will be a good thing to get back to. In fact, I even have a set of themes planed to come throughout the week, so you’ll have to check back to find out what I have cooking. I will give a hint, however. While most things we want in life are really not what we need, a great deal of the things that we need are sadly not what we want. Often times it takes the formation of good habits to properly dispose ourselves to simply see and understand what we really need! So on that note, two-thirds of what I write will be on topics that I need to spend more time thinking and writing about, while the other third will regard those things that have been on my mind and I’d really like to talk about. I’m not sure if that’s much of a hint, however. But if you’re at all like me, then perhaps these things are needs for you as well.

And in that case, we’re in this boat together.

Perhaps I should, as this is my first post in since January, be sure I make sense out of my post’s title. You may think that “An Unexpected Change of Events” merely refers to my change of status with the U.S. Army – but it really helps me begin my new series of posts at the beginning: God. More specifically, it refers to His altogether peculiar relationship with all that He has created.

You see, last weekend Catholics throughout the world celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and it is of course more than fitting to speak first about God before going on to any other topic. Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus commanded the Apostles to: “…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20). The heart of Jesus’ words here is the fact that the very nature of God is unitive, self-donating love – a love which enables God to be supremely one in essence but three in person. For a wonderful meditation on the Trinity, check out the Athanasian Creed!

But while Christians believe in the Trinity based on the teachings of Christ, it must be said that God has not merely revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because he wants us to do divine mathematics, but rather because he has called us into a relationship with himself and he has planned this from before the creation of the universe. Even in the event of sin (the choosing of self-love over God’s love), God set in motion a rescue plan for humanity in Christ. Redemption in Christ, however, is not an end in itself, however, but rather the beginning of a new life of sanctity upon a battlefield – for we are war, though “…not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12). We are at war with the enemies of love.

But love is the key to victory and Jesus manifested this at Calvary.

The passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, however, was truly an unexpected change of events – but it is continuing to this day through the application of grace to the faithful. Called into natural life at conception, God calls us into the supernatural life of grace through faith and baptism into a body of believers, the Church (see Mark 16:16 and Ephesians 1:22-23). Redeemed and re-ordered we must now participate in spiritual warfare and “fight the good fight,” as St. Paul would say.

Quite unexpected. Quite peculiar. But that’s what makes God, God.

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