I will begin this blog with a quote from the Catholic Saint Augustine. And as I begin may I state the following for clarification. Catholics do not worship saints. The saints in fact were regular Joes and Jane’s like you and me. They were all saints of God as you and I are if you are truly born again. The difference being that special recognition is given to those individuals who have shown exemplary performance during their lives. Insofar as their impact on humanity as relates to the Kingdom of Heaven while they were here with us. I am sure that there are many more individuals who would receive this dubious title of canonization if all things were equal in Christianity. But as you and I both know…all things are not. So let’s move on. But before we do let me tackle if you will the jab that is continually thrown at Catholic Christians about praying to the saints.
May I pose a question or two for your consideration my esteemed reader? As it pertains to praying to saints for intercession. Now if you were to come to me and ask me to keep you in prayer for any particular intention that you may have. Are you asking a saint to pray for you? Matthew 22 verses 31 and 32…Jesus is speaking….But as touching the resurrection of the dead. Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God…saying. I am the God of Abraham. The God of Jacob and the God of Isaac? God is not the God of the dead but of the living? So if we are alive after suffering death here on earth. And we are in fact in heaven. Can we hear and see and in fact do anything once we are there? And the answer is unequivocally yes. The saints that have gone before us are with the Father and Jesus and they can hear our prayers and petitions. They have not left the body of Christ and neither have we.
And now the quote from the blessed saint Augustine…For thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee…Offering no physical or emotional rest…and that due to anxiety or boredom is the dictionary definition of the word restless. But notice his quote is twofold. First he says our hearts are restless. And then he states that this will end when we rest in Christ. If you get nothing else out of this blog…please get this. All of the saints who have gone before us and all who will be here after us if the Lord should tarry before his return. Are just like you and me. We struggle and worry and fret and kick and scream as Christians, and so did they. We are to be Disciples of Christ. In other words we are learning a discipline. And that discipline is to be more like Christ tomorrow than we are today.
Having said that… my opinion is such that most if not all of the unrest that we can and will experience is brought onto ourselves predominantly when we drift away from our duties and our Lord. It was Jesus who said that he had come that we might have life and that the life he gave to us might be abundant. The scriptures record for us all over and over again his dealings with the disciples on a daily basis. The constant need for reprimands and reinstruction on the part of the followers. His showing in both word and in deed over and over again the power of the Kingdom of Heaven that was theirs for the asking. And yet they continually struggled and failed as students of the Master.
So what can we expect of ourselves? Are we any different than they were? Are we kidding ourselves into thinking that we should be some super Christians and that these disciples were just some group of ignorant fools? No my friend. We are as they were. We are in fact fallible human beings and we still need all the help that we can get every day of the week. The problem begins when we stray from Christ. When we neglect daily prayers. When we neglect the reading of scripture. When we forget that we are to be living epistles that can be read by all men. And what’s to read if there is nothing to read in you or through you.
Putting it quite simply you cannot give what you do not possess. If you spend no time in the bible how can you possibly tell someone else what God has to say to them? And how do you defend the faith when a Jehovah’s Witness come to your door. Spewing out lies…handing you comic books…and directing your eyes to specific verses which they say is proof that they are doing God’s work. There bible is not even Christian. It was rewritten and created to suit their own blend of antichrist religion. And by the way. The next time you see one of these so called witnesses, and they tell you that they believe in Jesus also. Ask them if they believe that Jesus is God? That will settle the score rather succinctly. But you don’t know that as of yet. And why you may ask? Because you are busy about everything else except spending time with Jesus.
Martha and Mary were two sisters and they were friends of Jesus. If you are Christian and you read your bible you know the story. But if you don’t then here it is in a nut shell. Jesus comes to visit them. And while Mary sits immediately at Christ feet. Martha busies herself with moving around the house doing this and that. Martha than says to Jesus… Why don’t you say something to her? I am working like a slave here and she is just sitting there…I am paraphrasing of course. Now I am sure that Jesus was appreciative of Martha’s hospitality on many an occasion when he visited. But today was different. It was time to take some corrective measures to insure Martha’s future in the Kingdom. On this day he said to Martha in reply…Mary has chosen the more important thing to do.
My experience has been thus far as a Christian…that God puts up with things for quite a while. He is longsuffering. And I believe that he is ever hopeful that we will make the course corrections before he has to take the helm away from us and do it himself. Remember if you will that Jesus said the he and the Father are one. Additionally he said that he who has seen me has seen the Father as well. When my niece Sofia comes over, inevitably she will at some time sit next to my wife and hold her hand while resting her head on her shoulder. Not much is said, nor does anything need to be said.it is purely a gesture of love and a source of comfort. There is I can assure you no anxiety or restlessness present within her. In fact she generally falls asleep. She is at ease in the grasp and presence of Mama Lillian.
How much time are you spending in the grasp and presence of Jesus? Are you like Mary or Martha? Everyone, no matter what type of work you do or life that you lead needs some peace and tranquility. And that included Jesus. He spent 3 years on the campaign trail for Heaven. Battling demons, dealing with all manner of treacherous individuals, instructing the disciples, and now he just wanted rest with the comforting presence of his friend Mary at his feet. The next time that you find yourself getting up tight, which for many of you may be every hour of every day. Remind yourself of just how little time you are spending at the Masters feet. I have seen a bumper sticker in recent days. It says the following…..Know Jesus…Know peace…No Jesus…No Peace…Think about it would you?…..To be continued