Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jesus Christ, St. Paul, the powers, and the necessity of your "I"

"What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:35.37-39).

I would just point out that to realize this (meaning to make it real, concrete, as opposed to notional and abstract) it involves our I. Such passages as this one by St. Paul, for whom such insights arose directly from his experience, can easily be reduced to a kind of sentimentalism, one that demands nothing from us. We can take this as a further excuse to keep waiting for God to deliver us from our circumstances instead of save us precisely through them.

As Don Gius taught, "Expect a journey, not a miracle that dodges your responsibilities, that eliminates your toil, that makes your freedom mechanical. No! Don’t expect this." If you need proof, then look at St. Paul's incredible journey to his destiny, which was a real-life Odyssey, events that happened in history. I think this is also the point of the adventure of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

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