Friday, August 3, 2012

"What made you want to live this kind of life?"

I don't know about you dear reader, but for me it's been a helluva a week on many fronts. Fittingly, it sort of culminated last night with me teaching our catechumens about St. Paul, which meant delving into his letters a bit, always a worthwhile to endeavor. Paul wrote many impassioned pleas, among which is the following:
Hence, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death. For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do, this God has done: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us, who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit. The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:1-8)

In light of that Cage the Elephant's "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" struck me as a good, if somewhat startling, Friday traditio for this week. Why? Because it deals with just the sort of hopelessness and restlessness that can all too easily be our existence. As Don Gius observed about Jesus' crucifixion, "He mounted the Cross to free us from the fascination with nothingness, to free us from the fascination with appearances, with the ephemeral." Stated a bit more plainly, as in the introduction to the Church's petitions for Morning Prayer today- "Through his cross the Lord Jesus brought salvation to the human race. We adore him and in faith we call out to him... Turn your gaze from our sinfulness, and cleanse us from our iniquities...Strengthen in our hearts the faith you have given us; let not temptation ever quench the fire that your love has kindled within us."

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