Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

The Dark Knight Rises, Fr. Robert Barron, and the Re-Emergence of Paganism

If you haven’t seen the Dark Knight Rises yet, and hate spoilers, please do not read this blog post.

I must confess.  I am a devotee of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series.  The films, especially the second and the third, though at times choppy with editing, offer a breath of fresh air to someone who sincerely enjoys movies but rarely sees them due to lack of story, originality, etc.  I must further confess that I have thus far seen the current one, the Dark Knight Rises, three times, and plan to see it once more before I leave.

I have also been anxious to hear what Fr. Barron had to say about the films.  Today, he released his brief commentary.  While I agree with what he has to say – that the Christian view of salvation is the most compelling story to tell in a variety of icons – I think he misses the deeper element of the films, or at least he misses it in this review.  Here is the clip:

Again.  I agree fundamentally with Fr. Barron.  I think the film tries very hard to present this Christian view of salvation.  However, I think Fr. Barron seems to see that there is also a failure in all this.  Batman’s self-sacrifice is really just an illusion in the film, just as in the second film he takes on the ‘sin’ of Harvey Dent in order to try and redeem the city, but is only able to take it on through a lie.  In short, Batman tries to save the city, but he is unable to, he ultimately fails.  This failure is because it has no real effect on the city.  The salvation Batman offers in the second film ultimately fails by the time of the third, it crumbles under it’s own weight.  So too is there a lack of any real salvation in the third film.  Batman saves the city, but is unable, it seems, to effect any real change in the very being of people’s lives.

In short, what humanity demands, a pure sacrifice, man is unable to fulfill himself.  This, I believe, is one of the core messages of the film, even if it is not intended by the writes, actors, and director.  The stories of the films continuously demand this perfect sacrifice by a spotless victim, but Batman always falls short.  I want to make this clear right now: I do not see this as a criticism of the movie, but it’s crowning achievement.  The reason I love the films is that they demonstrate so clearly man’s failed attempts to save himself.  When man comes up against himself, as he does throughout history, a victor always arises, but a victory never occurs.

This brings me to the presence of paganism in the contemporary world, which I believe the movies convey so well.  In short, I think the movie conveys in a narrative form the real experience and existential reality of modern man.  This is why I believe so many people flock to see it.  When people discuss it, I never hear “it was fun”.  The discussion is immediately on a deeper level.

So what has this to do with paganism?

Paganism is not so much the worship of a variety of gods – though it can be that – but rather is the worldview that developed the genre of myth.  Myth is not something unreal, as people tend to see it.  Myth is real.  It is substantial.  It is imposing on reality all that it must bear upon itself without any relationship to a transcendent God.  Myth, then, in the pagan sense, is the constant narrative that exposes reality for all its potentiality, and it is this potentiality that gives rise to a harshness and a violence that becomes an eternal struggle.

Von Balthasar makes the argument that we need to rediscover myth for the Gospel to have an effect again.  Such an argument is based on the fact that paganism and myth demonstrate to man the sheer brutality of existence without any reference to God.  Life is, as Hobbes said, nasty, brutish, and short.  This is a fact if God is not present.  But the reason that the Gospel was so successful in its missionary push was that it was encountering a worldview in ancient Rome and the rest of Europe that saw life as meaningless, violent, and without hope.  The Christian message is the only message that is able to give a “way out” of such a worldview.  Its success lies in the fact that it affirms much of what myth and paganism has to say and uses that as the stepping board – a sort of secular Old Testament – towards the eternal spring of the Gospel.

Without such a realization that the world is this way without God, the proposition of God will make very little sense.  This is why movies such as the Dark Knight Rises give me hope.  Such movies demonstrate to me that we are beginning to realize this, even if it is not a conscious realization.  We grasp at a saving figure to redeem us from this dark oppression of ceaseless human violence, and so we create figures and symbols that can attempt to redeem us.  But as the Batman movies so beautifully portray, man’s attempt to save himself will alwayscome up short, it will always fail.  It is in this point that I believe Fr. Barron is missing in his analysis.  We grasp for a Christ figure, but our icons of Christ fail to be Christ when we look to a world without God.

I wish to finish with a brief addendum.  Many people are critical of the increase of violence in our culture, and to an extent, rightfully so.  We cannot control it, though.  When the world likes the link to God, it becomes a place of violence.  Fr. Barron is right in his analysis that Christ allows the violence of sin to come upon Him and, while hanging upon the Cross, triumphs over it with the non-violence of love.  We, as Christians, seem to demand such actions of the whole world, and I believe this to be not only naive, but inhuman.  While we could hope for such non-violent triumphs of love, it requires Christianity for such actions to take place.  When someone is not a Christian, do not expect non-violence, you can only expect some form of violence, veiled or direct, as a response to your existence.  I do not deplore the violence of the film one bit.  In fact, narratives such as Greek myth are far more violent.  And I expect our cultural narratives to go in that direction as well.  I do not lament this, but, strangely enough, embrace it.  I do not throw the world unto itself so as to allow it to destroy itself, but rather acknowledge that regardless of what I do, the world will increase in its focus on violence because it has decreased its focus on the Cross.  When the Cross is removed from culture, the only thing that can fill the void is violence.  I believe this to be part of the narrative of human history and see no end to it until Christ returns again.  So while I abhor violence and the taking of human life, I also acknowledge that it is to become ever more prominant, especially in our cultural narratives.  What we as Christians are to do in such cases is not condemn the violence, but propose the Cross as the solution to the existential angst one experiences when faced with such violence.

in Christ

-Harrison

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Some Thoughts Prior to My Mission in New Mexico

Needless to say, the last 6 months have been different than most.  They have been filled with doubts, consolations, struggles, even isolation.  The direction my life is taking me is not one that I had expected, nor one that I even wanted.  But Christ’s hand is so clearly there, that I cannot but say yes to where I am going.  The more I pray and reflect on what I am to embark on, the more I think “wow, what a gift”.

The gift, however, is scary.

It is scary because there is nothing more profound than the encounter with Christ in the poor.  When you encounter that real presence of Christ in the face of the downtrodden, the isolated, the forgotten, you really encounter Him.  When you encounter Him, it scares you because you realize everything has to change in your life to conform to Him Whom you are serving.  I know this because I have encountered this numerous times in my life.

Often we run away from the poor because Christ in them challenges us to a far more radical life devoted to Him.

The more I reflect on this, the more I realize that my fears, struggles, torments are not due to the “sudden shift” that has taken place.  So I’m not going to be in the seminary next year, so I’m going to a new place.  Yes, fear comes with this, but it goes away quite quickly.

No, these elements in my life are of a spiritual nature: they are of the devil because they are trying to turn me away from the face of Christ.  Perhaps a part of me is too attached to certain things in life, and to encounter Christ in the poor forces me to re-assess these attachments.  Perhaps I have been fighting my trip not because it is uncomfortable and different – it is that, though.  No, I think in this situation I have at times fought with it because it means I am going to have to change my life.  It is going to have to change completely.  And it is not the demand of a vengeful God that is going to do this to me.  It is going to be the encounter with that gaze of Love that transformed the world on the Cross 2000 years ago.  True Love, that love that expends itself totally for you, that is what changes the heart that is open to receiving it.  I know in my life that I am not only open to receiving it, but I desperately want it.

But that desire that is at the core of my heart is a desire that scares me because it means I will no longer be the same.  I will no longer enjoy the same things I do now, nor even be able to participate in the friendships and so forth that I do now.  This is because it means that Christ becomes my total focus.  It means choosing Him above all else.

This is the challenge of life: to choose Christ and Him alone, in all situations and circumstances.  It is lofty, and scary. We do not even realize how deep that call goes because we avoid the people and times that give us the opportunity to encounter Him.  We must take Matthew 25 as literally as possible.

When one encounters Him in the lonely, the destitute, the abandoned, the thirsty, the hungry, the diseased, it is truly an encounter with Him.  What scares me is also what gives me the greatest sense of hope.

And so I prepare myself for this journey in two weeks.  I have no doubts that I will come back a different man than I was before, but one more filled with joy and purpose and devotion than I am now.  That is what encountering Christ does to us.  It is a profound gift He offers us, if we only had the ears and heart to hear Him.  I am afraid of the future because I know not what it holds, but as one friend recently said to me in an e-mail, quoting the Gospels: “Behold, I will go before you to Galilee and will meet you there”.  He really is there to guide, guard, and protect.  I know this in my heart of hearts.  And I know that what is stony in my heart now will be turned into flesh with an encounter with the Risen Lord in the faces of the poor and abandoned.

Yes, it will challenge me to a greater poverty, a greater simplicity of life, a greater life of prayer, a greater life of obedience, a growing in having a chaste heart focused solely on the Lord.  It will, in the ancient sense of the term, encourage me to become more evangelical and to embrace the counsels of apostolic life.

And so I go with a whole whack of different emotions in my heart.  It is my hope that when the odd opportunity allows, I will be using my blog to share brief updates whenever I can get to a computer, which I do not expect to happen very often.  But when I do, I will update the blog to let people know what is happening, and how the encounter with Jesus Christ is helping me in my vocational call as a diocesan priest.  I ask for your prayers and also, if you wish for me to pray for you, please simply contact me.  I would encourage you to subscribe via e-mail if you wish for updates as I do not know when or how often I will be updating.  This way, you will get a direct e-mail in your inbox with my updates.

For those who read the blog and are unaware, I will be working for 6 months with the Missionaries of Charity in Gallup, New Mexico in their mission of serving the poorest of the poor.  This is part of my formation on the path, hopefully, towards priesthood.

Sincerely in Christ

-Harrison

 

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Faith in Jesus is Very, Very Rare

In today’s Daily Round Up, I mention the life and sanctity of Fr. Alfred Delp, SJ.  In particular, I linked to the following article by a British Jesuit and his encounter with Fr. Delp.  When I read the article, I must say, I was deeply moved by it, and it prompted me to begin reflecting on our devotion to Jesus Christ.

In particular, Fr. Holman challenges us to ask: our we being the prophetic witness to Jesus Christ in our world?  In relation to this question, he quotes Ruth Burrows, OCD, who says that “faith in Jesus is very, very rare”.

The question that immediately comes to mind is a personal one: “do I have faith in Jesus?”  Hearing the words of Ruth Burrows, hearing the prophetic story of Fr. Delp, one can’t help but be sobered and say: “I do, but I need more.”  Why is that the answer?  Because I would not be challenged by those words or that life if I did not have a conviction that Christ is Lord of my life and of history.  When I hear them, I think “Yes, I want a greater intimacy with the Lord.”  What is faith but the firm conviction that the Lord is present in one’s life and loves you.  But faith can grow insofar as we open ourselves to receive the grace of His Person in our heart. Thus, when Ruth Burrows speaks of faith in Jesus, she is talking about the faith which Fr. Delp walked by: the assured presence of the Lord in our lives, the knowledge of a Person that is guaranteed by an intimate heart-to-heart.

And if that is the faith we are speaking about – the faith of Fr. Delp, then yes, faith in Jesus is very, very rare.  The question we must then ask ourselves: does such a faith need to be rare?  I think not.  Why, then, is such a faith so rare?  I think there are two reasons which we can give.

The first reason is that we do not see the rare faith.  We don’t see it either because we do not have the eyes to see it, or that these people are, simply, rare.  In terms of not having the eyes to see, that will be the focus of the next point.  The rarity, then, is a scandal to the world.  “Where is your Lord?  If He is so real, why are there so few of you who really live according to the pattern of His life?”  The world, despite its blindness, sees one thing clear: to be a Christian means to be Christ-like, it means to be Christ to the world.  Their accusation, in the end, is a cry for help: they too want to encounter the Lord, but the Lord is not presented to them.  We cover Him with the filth of our egocentrism, our politics, our points-of-view, our selfishness, our greed, our complaints, our gossip, our inability to recognize Jesus in others, in our unwillingness to help the poor, the helpless, the downtrodden.  How can the Lord shine through us when we are in the way?  It is simple: He can’t, and He doesn’t.  He doesn’t because He respects our freedom, and every time we sin, we choose to put ourselves in front of Him.  So, the world sees us, not Him.  The saint, the rare Christian, the true Christian is the one in whom we see the Lord and, seeing the Lord in Him, we see that person in their fullness.  It is the great paradox of Christian life: the more we allow Jesus to shine through us, the more we put ourselves to the side, the more we are ourselves and that our true selves are seen.  But that is where the struggle arises.

In this struggle, there is a drama.  A friend of mine recently said to me that they don’t understand how there can’t be drama for the Lord, how people do not accept the drama of holiness.  My friend is dead on.  To the world, most Christians are an apologetic against Christianity.  But the saint is the apologetic for Christianity.  And how is it that we can become the saints that the world demands of Christianity?  As I have said: by becoming Christ to the world.  But how does this happen?  It means entering the drama of holiness.  In us there is a conflict of a million competing desires.  What we do is choose Christ, and choose the will of His Father in each action we do.  Thus we ‘habituate’ ourselves according to the life of holiness.  And the greatest action the Christian can do is pray.  To pray is to be with the Lord.  It means not just talking, not just saying the breviary, nor just saying the rosary, nor just reading the Scriptures, nor just going to Mass.  Those things are important, to be sure.  But it means having a heart-to-heart with the Lord.  It means both speaking and listening.  We cannot become the saints God wants us to be if we do not sit back and listen to His desire for us.  It means shutting up and listening.  If we do not listen to Jesus, we will not become the Saint His love calls us to be.  Prayer is the encounter of love and love both speaks and listens.  We tend to speak, we do not make an effort in listening.

By prayer, our desires become manifest to us, and we begin to see with greater clarity what the Lord asks us to act on and what we ought not to act on.  Thus we begin doing fasting and asceticism: giving up things that turn us away from the Lord and take on that which brings us closer to Him.  Thus we start to live the Christian life.  Thus we start loving others.  We speak to the homeless, help them with what they need.  We visit the sick and the imprisoned: we love others because, by loving them, we will see the Lord in them.  In the encounter with others, we encounter Jesus: the encounter is a revelation of His love to us.  We become the radical saints God calls us to be.

The second point is that the rare sanctity is in the world, but some do not have the eyes to see it or accept it.  I am thinking of those who harden their lives with sin by consciously turning away from God.  I do not mean the drug addict, the drunkard, the prostitute: they tend to not do their activities as a conscious act against the Lord.  I am speaking of the one who denies God and their denial is lived out in their actions, or the one who refuses to allow God the slightest sliver of openness.  They become so engrossed in themselves and their reality that they cannot see beyond their own ego.  With those, we can only do two things.  We continue to love them, and we pray, fast, and do penance for them.  Even if we do not know them, we do this.  With the Lord as our source, these actions receive a graced existence and are effective in the lives of those closed to God.   We may never know the effects.  But we know it works.

If we wish to really follow the Lord, we must ask ourselves, right now, each day: “Do I have faith in Jesus?”  If I do, it better start showing in my life.  If I need to grow – and we all need to grow in our faith – then I need to begin doing greater actions of love towards Him and others, to listening to Him more.  We become the saints we are called to be not by radical actions and poverty, but radical love in each circumstance of our life.  Faith in Jesus indeed is rare, but it need not be.

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Love of Neighbour

A person is more than just their body.

A person is more than just their physical beauty.

A person is more than just their laugh.

A person is more than just their hair colour.

A person is more than just their physical attributes.

A person is more than just their intellect.

A person is more than just their personality.

A person is more than just their words.

A person is more than just their interests.

A person is more than just their quirks that frustrate you.

A person is more than just their lack of sensibility.

A person is more than just their anger.

A person is more than just their constant complaining.

A person is more than just their possessions.

A person is more than just their selfishness.

A person is more than just their ego.

A person is more than just their self-centeredness.

A person is more than just their inability to love another.

A person is more than just their addiction.

A person is more than just their actions.

A person is more than just their political views.

A person is more than just their unfaithfulness.

A person is more than just their rudeness.

A person is more than just their crankiness.

 

A person is more than all these things.  When Jesus commands us to love our neighbour, He asks us to love the person who is our neighbour.  Our neighbour is the drug addict, the prostitute, the person at Church who is cranky to us, the person in our family we have difficulty loving.  Our neighbour is our parents, friends, family, and all the strangers we meet.  In each one of them we find Jesus, in each one of them, there is a dignity beyond their individual traits.

Yet, we, due to concupiscence have “the concupiscence of the eyes” (1 Jn 2:15): we look to what is immediately in front of us and do not see the person who is greater than the sum of our parts.

If we want to begin to love our neighbours as Jesus loves them, we must begin by looking past the attributes to the person who expresses himself in those attributes.  The person is not the parts, but is more than what we see.  Our neighbour is a person who has a mystery we delve into, never fully plumbing the depths of who they are.  When we look past their attributes – and it is especially in regards to their attributes which we find frustrating or difficult to put up with – then we see them as God sees them: a child of God who is a temple of the Holy Spirit and Christ to us, warts and all.

A person is more than just their….

in Christ

-Harrison

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The Overemphasis of Excitement

I couldn’t take it anymore.  Yesterday, as I took a break from my paper on Blondel, I checked my Facebook for messages and to see what friends were up to.  The following is things I tended to see:

  • The most amazing thing ever happened to me…
  • That was the best time ever
  • This is the coolest song I have ever listened to
  • Today can be an amazing day if you make it so
  • Let yourself be encountered by the awesome amazingness of Jesus today

Then I did some browsing and came across websites that had roughly the same things to say about their products (though, admittedly, I did not see anything mentioned about Jesus in the advertisements).  I had to step back for a bit.  I was overwhelmed by the seeming awesomeness of the world.  Everything was perfect and wonderful, and it made me want to puke.

The world is indeed amazing, and full of wonder.  Even the most minute of things has wonder and awe built into it.  What disturbs me about the above sayings, and many other sayings like it, is that it does not really reflect reality.  Is that really the coolest song you have ever listened to?  What about the previous song, or the one before that which you declared to be “the coolest song ever”?  I am the last person to say that Jesus isn’t awesome and amazing.  But the encounters we have with Him are often hidden and full of the mystery of His Presence.  We do not recognize Him right away.

What disturbs me about the over-excitedness and enthusiasm of the world is two things.  First, people believe you when you say something is great.  They try it out, only to find it is not so great.  And then they tend to not believe you in the future.  They have high expectations of the experience and, when those expectations are not met, they discredit that which they experience.  This is particularly true of faith-related matters.  We must be passionately in love with Jesus Christ: I agree with this.  But it does not need to be pronounced each day like a thirteen year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, either.  Love is not manifested in excitement, it is manifested in death to self for the sake of others.  It means actually going through the hard knocks of reality, embracing the world, loving it with every fiber of your being, and giving every drop of your energy, life, and love for it.  Look at someone like Mother Teresa.  She had a very serious demeanor about her.  She smiled often, but she was also serious too.  But the world does not remember her because she was excitedly in love with Jesus.  The world remembers her because she lived her love for Jesus each day.

Often, especially in relation with youth, we try to tap that youthful energy to be about screaming, excitableness, and pure-enthusiasm. Enthusiasm becomes the litmus test for our faithfulness to Christ.  Youth have energy, and, I believe, there is even a place for such youthful excitement at times.  But that energy is meant to be tapped so that they can be trained in the love of Jesus Christ.  That is the challenge, and it is a challenge because we live in a world that overemphasizes this excitement.

Thus, to an extent, I do not blame people for this.  It is all they know.  And that is because it is all they are exposed to.  This brings me to my second point.  We are in a commercialized culture: all we know is advertisements.  And what do advertisements say?  “Use this cream and your skin will be healthier”, “use this drug and your marriage will be happier”, “buy this car and your life will be fulfilled.”  Advertisement, as the great culture critic Neil Postman once said, is no longer about selling a product according to its own merits.  Instead, advertisement manipulates a product so as to make it seem like you will be the happiest person with it in your life.  But it is not the case, and we all know it.  When we buy that cream, that electronic device, that car, we are, initially, excited about it.  But our excitement wavers because we realize the fulfillment it promises is no fulfillment at all.  If everything is exciting, then everything becomes dull.

What we must do, instead, as Christians, is to be critical towards the world we live in while also loving it.  It means toning down our excitement and not buying things at face value.  It means using our energy for something greater: for Christian love.  It means using every fiber of our being, day by day, to loving God and others with a deeper love.  That is the true call of Christians.  Excitement comes and goes, but the love of Christ is forever.

I wrote on a similar topic before.  Check out The Heresy of Happiness.

in Christ

-Harrison

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The Splendor of Jesus Christ is the Message of All Saints

Recently, for my class on the Theology of Revelation, I have been reading “Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theological Aesthetics: A Model for Post-Critical Biblical Interpretation” by W.T. Dickens.  Don’t let the title scare you, the book is not what this post is eventually about.  I do, however, wish to use it to talk about the point of this post: the attractive splendor of Jesus Christ.  The book is an attempt to see what sort of impact Balthasar’s theological aesthetics (a fancy way of speaking about a theology of beauty) has on scriptural interpretation.  There is much that has been said so far in the book, and much I could speak about.  However, I just want to speak about one element that Balthasar speaks of that is important for Christianity: that there is a splendor to Jesus Christ.

What do I mean by splendor?  Splendor, for Balthasar, is a radiating light that presents itself to someone and attracts them to its ground in God.  There is an inner integrity to the Person of Jesus that sends us who experience Him into a sort of ecstasy: we are drawn out of ourselves into the beautiful radiance of Jesus.  We see in Him that He points to His Father, and there is an attractiveness about His Person that radiates to the whole world.

Yet, to appreciate the sheer radiant beauty of the Person of Jesus, the subject (that is, us) must be open to receiving  Jesus and allowing Him to be Himself to us.  Behind this is St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises: a spiritual work that is at the heart of all Balthasar’s work.  St Ignatius speaks about the importance of indifference: we must abandon our own desires, our own willing of things, save for willing what God wills of us.  In short, our wills must be disciplined in order to be truly free and receptive to the beauty, radiance, and splendor of Jesus Christ.  It is not a stoic indifference, of allowing whatever happens to happen to us.  Rather, it is a desiring the will of God alone because it is this will of God that brings us true peace and happiness.  Balthasar speaks of this beautifully when he says that we must allow the beauty and splendor of Jesus Christ to master us so that we can accept Him as He is.  This is not a fatalism, nor a pure passivity, but rather a dynamic engagement with the ever present Word of the Father.

When we allow that splendor of Jesus to radiate towards us, we allow Him to in-form us: to become a likeness to Him and then His splendor radiates into the world.  And that is the ultimate point of this post.  Today is the Solemnity of All Saints, where we celebrate the victory of Christ’s redemption for those who are reigning with Him in the bosom of the Father.  They are there because they have allowed Jesus to in-form them: they allowed Him to be Himself to them and that formed them into His image and likeness.  They too carried – and still carry in Heaven – the splendor of Jesus Christ.  If you have ever met a saint, you know what I am speaking about.  Holiness radiates from them and we want to be like them.  We want to experience the radiant love of Christ as they have experienced it.  Ultimately, we celebrate All Saints day because it is really a celebration of Christ and His victory over sin and death in the lives of the faithful reigning with Him.  We celebrate them because Christ is in them: they are Christ to us and bring His radiant love to the world.

And that is their example for us.  We also celebrate All Saints day because it is a reminder of our call to holiness.  Yet, we can only become holy in so far as we allow Christ to be Himself to us.  We must put our selfishness and self-will out of the way so that we may simple, lovingly, and actively receive Christ as He is in our hearts.  Then we see His splendor, then we desire to be formed by Him, then we become saints because we become more like Him.

This is very important because it is an element that is missing in most preaching today, and it is difficult to preach to a world that is increasingly active and less receptive.  We don’t have “time” to see Jesus and to be with Him.  Balthasar argues that the only means of holiness is contemplation, which is indifferent, actively receptive, and desirous to become what the person contemplates.  In short, to contemplate, we need to put ourselves to the side and let God do the work (for true contemplation is not our own work), we need to allow the form of God to change us and to act on His promptings to change.  God calls us all to be saints and to be saints in a particular way.  St Ignatius was not called to be Mother Teresa, nor was JP II called to be St Francis.  Each saint has a particular charism, and some are more hidden than others: most of the saints in Heaven are “hidden” from us in that we do not know who all of them are!  But there are some there who are greater than Mother Teresa, but they lived their holiness in hiddenness, just as our Lord hid for 30 years before His public ministry.

Again, though, it is difficult to preach this to a world that does not appreciate silence, stillness, and receptivity.  How we preach the ever-new and ever-ancient splendor of Jesus Christ is difficult in an age of self-assertion.  Yet the best mode of preaching is to allow Jesus to impart His splendor and beauty in us so that we can be the manifestation if His Presence to the world.  Yet we can only do that when we give ourselves to Him in prayer, when we constantly participate in the sacraments, when we simply love others with the heart of Christ and seek Him in them.  It requires, in the end, immediate obedience to His Person, a willing to lay down all for Him, and to not condition His message to suit our own needs and selfish desires.  We must have only one desire: Jesus Christ.  When that becomes our true desire, then all we do and say finds an ever-fresh and ever-new source in Him Who brings all we say and do into the unitive power of His love present in His death and resurrection (hence why Mass is so important).

So, on the feast of All Saints, let us begin today to live the splendor of Jesus Christ in our lives and let the radiant beauty of His love shine through our hearts to the whole world.

In Christ

-Harrison

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