Friday, May 13, 2016

"Carry me on the waves to the land I've never been"

Sunday is Pentecost. It's difficult to believe that Evening Prayer on Sunday will mark the end of Easter for this Year of Grace, which the Holy Father has designated as a Year of Mercy. God is, indeed, merciful. If he were not, what would be the point of our fifty day celebration of Easter? It's a rhetorical question, of course.

I found this picture on JPUSA's "In Some Measures" blog

God's mercy is Jesus Christ. In the Letter to the Ephesians we read:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them (Eph 2:4-10)
Yes, as Catholics we, too, affirm that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That is a matter of revelation, as the above passage, and many like it, more than amply demonstrate. After all, that is the Good News.

I think of the term "salvation" as a composition that consists of three distinguishable, but not wholly distinct, movements: redemption, justification, and sanctification. Pope Francis was absolutely correct a few years ago when he said that everyone, including atheists, are redeemed. Christ died for all, did he not? I find it useful to think of redemption as a gift and justification as accepting, or at least not rejecting, the gift. Sanctification, in this metaphor, would be like putting the gift to good use. Oversimplified? You bet it is, as is any other explication of the mystery of our salvation, no matter how in-depth. My persistent point is that what God has done for us in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is something we can verify through experience and not just have a lot of nice ideas about.

Okay, enough of that! Largely because it's simply been too long since I've listened to it, Enya's "Orinoco Flow" is our Friday traditio for this last Friday of Easter:

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