I want to share three sentences from Janice Connell's book. They struck and stuck with me this last week. I may not have them word for word because I am just writing how I remember them. The first one was this - "We are spiritual beings enduring a physical experience". I know this is true. I talk about it often. However, two words in this phrase gave it a different weight. They are the words "enduring" and "experience". It just gave my soul a little lift when I read it, separating our spirit and body very distinctly. Reminding it that I am not made for this place and I just have to put up with it for a very short time. I just liked it.
The second sentence is - "Virtue untested is not virtue, but only theory." Powerful and self-explanatory. When virtue is tested, it is then we see what we are made of and God sees the love we profess for Him tested to see if they prove true.
The third sentence I want to spend a bit more time looking at was based on St. Monica. St. Monica was the mother of a doctor of the Catholic Church, St. Augustine. St. Augustine is studied in many educational fields because of his genius. He is known by many scholars and theologians. For those who have not heard of him, He was born in the late 300's A.D. near present day Tripoli. His mother was Monica, a woman of beauty, great faith and love for God. Her eyes always fixed on eternity. His father Patricus was a Roman citizen who was affluent, powerful, and loved frivals of the world. Augustine took after his father. He was extremely bright and loved the pleasures the world had to offer. His mother prayed fervently for her husband and her son's conversion. They both did eventually. Augustine became a pillar of faith for centuries to come. His most famous writing is "The Confessions of St. Augustine." The sentence that struck me that Janice wrote about St. Monica was this - "She [Monica] understood that the only human tragedy is the loss of an immortal soul." What perspective this sentence gives! I think of Monica telling me, a mother who's child has died, that my experience is NOT a tragedy. Unbelievable, I think. However, it's true. We mourn for all the horrendous happenings in our world. We weep, we suffer with others, we experience devastation, questioning, doubting, etc. Which is part of our humanity. It opens our eyes to others and takes them off oneself. However, when trying to look through Heaven's eyes of eternity, the only time those things become tragic are when souls are lost forever, for all of eternity with NO HOPE. This is truly something for our eyes to weep over, our hearts to break over, our minds to turn over. I think of how my family and friends who's hearts mourn for me and what has happened to us. I am truly thankful and humbled by this. However, I think how most of us know someone who's soul may be in a place away from grace. Why do we not weep more for them? What can I do? There may not always be opportunities to interact but because we live in a spiritual world, we have the chance to pray, fast, and offer sacrifice for them. These are wonderful things I have been learning more about and how to incorporate into my daily routine. I don't have to not eat a meal to give as an offering. I can offer up not putting sugar in my coffee, or honey on my peanut butter toast. I can wake up five minutes earlier than usual. I can wait half an hour later to eat my lunch. Those are all very easy ways to offer sacrifices for souls of danger of being lost - the only human tragedy. We can continue to work on these things together and strengthen the body of Christ, one part at a time.
Next Monday on the 26th, I get to share the day Phillip proposed to me because it was the day after Christmas!! Merry Christmas! May baby Jesus give you wonderful heavenly gifts!