Posted by: Thomas Richard | December 21, 2015

The State of My Soul

My last blog post included this:

My main concern then, these days, is for the foundations of the foundation: our individual, personal, person-to-Person relationship with God the Holy Trinity. In other words, I find myself looking within – and wanting to help others in the Church to look within, personally, to find and to renew that life of prayer which defines the relationship we have or do not have with God.

That all-necessary pursuit of the interior life – personally, among clergy and laity –  ought to be a priority in our parishes.  Budgets, calendars, offices, officers, Mission Statements, Parish Council agendas, clergy schedules, Parish Bulletins, announcements at Mass – all the “exterior” pronouncements and actions of the parish ought to reflect the interior realities and needs of Christian life.  What is the truth of my interior life?  What are the needs of my interior life, my soul, the grace entrusted to me beginning with my Baptism in Christ until now?

This question ought to be asked, daily.  Perhaps this question is asked but seldom – perhaps it needs to be asked, now: What is the state of my soul today, before God?

When I look at the externals of our churches and liturgical celebrations, I see great care, great willingness for “the best” – externally – we can possibly have and use in our worship.  Vestments, organs, fresh flowers, statues, sacred vessels, candle holders, professional musicians and cantors, and so on – all to insure a “beautiful” liturgy – all done for the Lord! Right?  Honestly?

I wonder about the interior of it all.  How many Catholics present for the Mass, believe (or even know) “the faith of the Church” concerning the Mass, the holy Eucharist, the Real Presence, the requirement of being in the state of grace to receive Holy Eucharist?  How many are familiar enough with Holy Scripture to hear the Mass Readings in proper context, to know what is being proclaimed, to hear God speaking in those words proclaimed?  How many are living a moral life that can preserve the state of holy grace prerequisite for full and proper participation in the liturgy?  Is the cup as clean inside, as the ornate furnishings of the outside would suggest?

God sees the inside.  Perhaps no one else does, but He does.  What does God seek, amidst all the externals we can become so preoccupied with?

Who may go up the mountain of the LORD?
Who can stand in his holy place?
The clean of hand and pure of heart,
who has not given his soul to useless things,
what is vain.  (Ps 24:3-4)

I remember also this from Isaiah:

Thus says the LORD:
The heavens are my throne,
the earth, my footstool.
What house can you build for me?
Where is the place of my rest?

My hand made all these things
when all of them came to be—oracle of the LORD.
This is the one whom I approve:
the afflicted one, crushed in spirit,
who trembles at my word. (Is 66:1-2)

Advent  is a time of preparation.  Christ is coming!  Make straight the path to Him!


Responses

  1. Thanks so much, Thomas for this encouragement to “Seek the Lord while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6). Our world has become busier and busier, it seems, and it is only by God’s Grace we can resist the temptation to get “caught up” in only the externals of Christmas and forget the interior preparation Advent calls to our attention.

    May Mary, our Mother and Model be for us the “star” leading us to Him. The wise men of old were determined to seek and find Him and they found Him with His Mother. So too may we seek Him in our hearts, may we ponder His Word as she did, learning from Him to be meek and humble. Learning From Him Who is our Way, our Truth and our Life. May we be ready, truly ready, not only for His coming at Christmas but whenever He comes.

  2. I have been praying this for myself for the last while. So now my prayers will be for me and the whole church. Susan


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