Sunday, February 01, 2009

Do I really love God?

I'm not much tempted toward over-scrupulosity. My fault lies in the opposite direction: I am inclined to presumptuously take for granted that my efforts are acceptable because, hey, I'm doing the best that I can. (Well, I'm not always doing the best that I can and sometimes God and I have to have some serious discussions about that.) I tend not to be motivated by hearing "It's the right thing to do", but I will leap into action if I hear of something that will make a contribution to someone's life. My affections -- fortunately being drawn more and more into conformity with Christ -- are my spark plugs. But, in moments of doubt, people like me may ask ourselves, "Do I do what is right or am I locked into just doing what I feel inclined and motivated to do?"

Others may have the gift of being energized to accomplish what is right and just. They may say, "I want to do my duty faithfully. I am committed to God, I am loyal and I am at his service. My family, my work responsibilities, my service to God and Church -- these things come first." But they might ask, "Am I cold-hearted? God talks about loving him with my whole heart. Do I do that? I'm not sure I know what that means."

I found a very helpful piece of writing that went a long way to helping me understand the different ways God works in the human heart.
In people who pursue the spiritual life, you can distinguish two ways. The first strives for the love of God through the virtues. They mortify themselves in a spirit of penance; they practice humility because justice demands it; they obey because duty demands it. These moral virtues are geared toward restoring order in the soul and, little by little, they will lead on to the sphere of perfect charity.

Others take an opposite way. These immediately look to love. This is the virtue they wish to acquire . . . For them, this queen of virtues is, so to say, the only virtue from which all the others flow.

Achille Durant C.SS.R

I'm reminded that God's way with each human heart is personal and individual. Is one more valuable because of feelings and expressions of devotion? Or is another more admirable because of its strength in fidelity, fortitude and sense of justice? Though there are differences of degree (and we keep pressing on to make him our own because of Christ Jesus who has made us his own), we are different from one another as an orchid and a waterfall differ. Each beautifully glorifies God, not by resembling one another, but by displaying something unique God has created.




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"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

Pres. Barack Obama, Feb 5, 2009