Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grant me your peace

Lord make me an instrument of your peace. I say this prayer almost every morning as I awake, trusting God to transform me because I know I cannot make it through the day on my own volition. I am human. Just like the next person. I make mistakes. Almost all men and women of faith pray for God's peace, God's will.  We pray: Our Father, who art in heaven. They will be done. We pray:  Lord grant me the serenity We consistently pray for peace and joy.

Yet, there is also a disturbing trend to Christianity. We tend to be Christians+. On the surface that seems like a good thing, and sometimes it is; as long as it doesn't interfere with the Gospel. The problem is we tend to add something to our Catholicism, or religion, our Christianity. We take something we believe in, and we tack it on to the Gospel. Christianity + Democrats. Christianity + democracy. Christianity + republican. Christianity + the tea party. Christianity + a belief. Christianity + Occupy Wall Street.

It's ok to be a Catholic and a democrat. It's ok to be a Catholic and a republican. It's ok to be a Catholic and a member of the tea party. We must remember though, that we are Catholic first. We are Christian first. Our first and most important allegiance is to God. If there is a democratic belief that is contrary to the Gospel, then we cannot live by it.. follow it.. nor expect others to do so. The same with our republican beliefs.

We also have a tendency to say things like, real Christians must be members of this as well! If they really followed the gospel, then they'd be a democrat too! If they were really following Christ they'd be protesting on wall street with the Occupy Movement, etc. God has clearly laid out what we are to do. I agree there are causes we should join. There are indeed parts of certain movements I agree with, but the only movement a person needs to join to be a member of the body of Christ.. is the church. It's really that simple. If we examine every single movement out there, we are going to find there are parts of that movement which do not agree with our faith.

I agree with movements that want to help the poor. I don't agree with abortion. I agree with free market, I don't agree with removing the environmental protection agency in order to make business explode, at the expense of destroying God's creation. I am a vegan, but I understand that God has given permission (not requirements) to eat meat. I am Catholic. Not Catholic+, not Catholic-, but Catholic.

Let us all learn to follow God's peace, not our own. God's will, not our own. Let's learn to discern what God wants from us, what God calls us to do in the gospel.  Let us pray with all earnestly, God's will be done here on earth, as it is in Heaven.. and mean it.. live by it.. live it here, as we believe it will be lived there. The story of our lives is a many volume book filled with paragraphs of information, going on and on, filling shelf upon shelf. This life is but the very first letter... there is so much more to come after... let us start living as if eternity is what matters... because if eternity is what matters.. then love is what we need to be exhibiting here.. in every breath.. every action.. every moment.

His servant, and yours;