Thursday, July 01, 2004

I found this in my re-reading of the few days I had missed in my copy of "In Conversation With God." This following bit is from Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time. Why I am sharing this with you I will explain after.

Scripture often speaks of solidarity in evil, in the sense that the sins of some can cause harm to the whole community. But Abraham turns the terms the other way round; he asks God who esteems the justice of the saints so highly, that it may be the saints who cause blessings to come down upon everyone, even though many are sinners. And God accepts this approach of the Patriarch's.

We can meditate today on God's joy and delight when He sees us struggling to be faithful to Him. We can meditate on the value our actions may have when we do them for God. This is true of even our most inconspicuous actions, deeds that we may think nobody sees and that apparently have little in them of transcendence. God sets great store by those who struggle for sanctity. God's delight is in the saints; it is for their sake that He pours out His mercy and His forgiveness on others who may have done nothing themselves to merit it. It is a wonderful but at the same time a real mystery, that God so delights in those who journey toward sanctity....

Jesus Christ has given full satisfaction to the eternal love of the Father. The Church has always taught this. The love of Christ dying for us on the Cross was more pleasing to God than all the sins of all men together can ever displease Him. Insofar as we identify our will with God's Will, we take upon ourselves the merits of Christ. We offer reparation to God by making our own the love and the merits of His Son! The matchless value that a single holy man or woman has in the sight of God is based on this. Although many sins are committed each day, there are at the same time many souls who in spite of their wretchedness desire only to please God with all their strength....

For the sake of ten I will not destroy it! Ten just men would have been enough! People who are really holy more than make up for all the crimes, the abuse, the envy, lack of loyalty, betrayal, injustice, selfishness...of all the inhabitants of a great city. If we are united with the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God will look with special compassion on our relatives, friends, acquaintances...who have perhaps strayed from the path out of ignorance, or error, or weakness...or because they did not receive the graces that we have received. We should try often to carry on the same kind of friendly and pleasant bargaining with Jesus that Abraham carried on with Yahweh! 'Look, Lord' -- we will say to Him -- 'this person is better than he seems. He has good intentions. Help him!' And Jesus, who nevertheless knows the real situation, will move that person with his grace out of regard for our friendship with Him.

If I ever entered religious life, and the thought has crossed my mind, I think I might take the name "Abraham" as my name in religion because that is all I ever wanted to be, a friend of God. Perhaps, that is what the reform of the Church in our own time needs, more men and women to be the friends of God, those who would bargain for those and strive to be closer themselves to the one they love.

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