Saturday, January 23, 2016

Giving Your Life to God


It's amazing how people resist devoting their lives to following Jesus.  I was definitely one of them until very recently.  I know I did love Him and tried to be faithful for many years after I became a Catholic--in fact, I even entered religious life (but left after 6 years).  Despite taking that significant step, I now realize that I was not really deeply committed to Him, although I sincerely thought I was at the time.

A friend posted on Facebook about how sports fills a void in peoples' lives, and I remarked on how trivial that seemed... and then eventually felt compelled to post this:  "To be perfectly honest, I am trying very hard to live a holy life devoted to Christ. It is challenging but also exciting, ecstatic, really. I am filled with indescribable joy. Most people do not want to hear that, but it's the truth for me."

Although only one person clicked LIKE for that post, I'd be willing to bet that several more read it but were afraid to click LIKE because of the implications of doing that:  "if I click LIKE, why am I not doing it too?"

I think it is because of our unwillingness to cede control of our lives to anyone besides ourselves.  We all have so much pride, we want to call the shots and not let anyone else tell us what to do--at least, that was the way I felt.  Much like St. Augustine, "Lord make me pure but not yet," we want God, but we also don't want to give up what we perceive to be the pleasures of life, either. 

The truth is that you can't have it both ways:  you either decide to give your life to Christ, including all that means, or you don't:  there is no halfway.  However, the surprise is that once you do it, your life really does become filled with incredible joy and happiness, beyond what you were ever able to imagine before, and you don't feel like you gave up anything:  actually, you got EVERYTHING you could possibly want.  It's like a taste of Heaven on earth, and you find out that you can't wait to see Him in person.   You live every day in complete peace and trust, no longer even afraid of death, because it will bring you at last to the One you love above all things.   

A good book to read in this regard is Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade's Abandonment to Divine Providence.  Don't be afraid: ask God to give you the courage to make the leap.  You will be so glad you did!  +

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