Do we believe in eternal life with God?
Do we believe in Hell?
We can narrow this question down to: do we believe in God?
Yes? or No?
Not “yes, but with caveats”, or “no” as a sort of maybe.
The Cosmic Battle
If we believe in God: God as love, God as being, God as creator willing the good of all His creation, we must learn to look at the world differently and perhaps we will find that evils, both objective and subjective, are not what they first appear, but are instead both evidence and consequence of the great, apocalyptic battle we are fighting to cast evil out of Eden, out of the garden, out of the New Earth.
Our injuries, illnesses, deaths, pains, sorrows are all battle wounds. Yet, we must all fight on in this cosmic battle. As is suggested in Revelations 12, Satan was cast down from heaven and unable to destroy the Woman (the Blessed Virgin and Mother Mary, the bridge between all humanity and the Living Christ) turned from her and went off to do battle with her children.” a.k.a. us. Here we fight. The battle ebbs and flows, but we know the end. God wins. Good wins. The good and the bad, or, if you will, the sheep and the goats will be sorted. The sheep (good) will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, the New Earth, and the goats (bad) will be cast into the everlasting flame where the worm dieth not, and the flame is ne’er quenched.
So the question for each one of us is: when the battle is over, on which side will I stand?
Where does your eternity lay? Are you a child of God? Or are you a slave of the Devil? Will you trade your eternity in paradise for a few fleeting pleasures of this world?
Shake off the Deception of Justification
Here is an amazing rule of thumb: If you find yourself justifying yourself to yourself you are justifying an evil. Intuitively, you know in your heart what you are attempting to justify to be wrong, but, for whatever reason, you want it to be otherwise.
You see that the tree is good to eat of, and desirable for gaining wisdom so a little voice inside says:
But of this tree God has commanded us not to eat, nor even touch it lest we die.
and another voice:
You shall not die, rather your eyes will be opened, and you shall be like gods knowing good from evil.
To “know” is to be intimate with. To be intimate with good is to know God, but why should one desire to be intimate with evil? How will intimacy with evil make one God-like? Merely a crafty lie the Devil puts forth. God does not know evil. God knows fully good and casts aside evil into the everlasting flames when the worm dieth not, and the fire is ne’er quenched. The very act of disobedience to God is intimacy with evil.
The Tree of Life
Picture the Garden of Eden. All is Happy. Lion cubs and lambs playing together, all is rainbows and unicorns, everyone and everything healthy, happy, and joyful; in a word “Paradise”. In the center of this garden there are two trees vastly different. One tree appears “to be good to eat of, and desirable for gaining wisdom”, and yet God forbid us to eat of it. Now the other tree, the Tree of Life, we are permitted to eat of, and yet, for some reason we choose not to partake of its fruit. Why do you suppose we shun this tree? In fact, the bible does not say Adam or Eve even consider eating of it, in fact, it does not say they even look at it? What must have been so terrible about this tree that our parents never considered it fruit?
Let us begin with God is in eternity. For God there is no passing of time. All things are present at once. Could it be that this tree was the Crucified Christ? Could this be a vision of the crucified Body of our Lord and Redeemer? This image would be so repellent one would even avert their eyes, go to great pains to circumvent this tree so as not to see the strange fruit it bore. What is this fruit of the Tree of Life? This tree that God sent Cherubims, and a flaming sword to guard it lest man eat of it and live for ever. Here is where Catholics come to see the fullness of their faith. The Fruit of the Tree of Life is the Body and Blood of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, our Messiah. It is in the Most Holy Eucharist that man is given to eat of the Tree of Life and invited to immortality in union, having intimate knowledge of God Himself. At least this is what I ponder in my heart not having authority to make any such statement. I beg understanding in prayer to the Blessed Mother who imparts wisdom and, at times, allows me to make a fool of myself that I may learn lessons in my heart. I am allowed a certain latitude to play so that I may skin my knees and burn my fingers that lessons may be hard-wired into my spiritual muscle memory. Although I may often be found moaning and licking my wounds, for these lessons I am forever and humbly grateful.
Lord Help Us
Every act of disobedience is another bite of the forbidden fruit. How poison it is, each bite being death, and yet we gorge, feast, stuff ourselves full for that moment of pleasure, pride, power, honour, towering possessions, prisons of vice, and from deep within the dungeon we cry out: “BEHOLD THE PALACE I HAVE BUILT! AM I NOT TRUELY A KING!”
LORD HELP US ALL!
Let us Pray:
O Lord, we beseech thee through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, You who have given us all things good in abundance, please grant us true wisdom. The wisdom to follow Your Will and Your Will alone, to hearken to the call and command of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and to see the beauty in, and take up, the cross we must each one of us bear and that we may reject the seductive fruits of pleasure, self-glorification, excess, pride in ourselves, and our pretense to wisdom. There is no wisdom, Lord, other than loving you with all our souls, with all our hearts, and with all our minds. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
May Almighty God bless you; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(C) Copyright 11 November 2018