What is God doing? God is restoring us to a normal Christian life. God is tired of seeing His people so beat up, so lonely, so scattered with nobody to take care of them, so confused. We have this idea that human beings left to themselves are just neutral, nice guys. But that’s not true. Anyone not open to God is turned in on himself and the prey of all kinds of evil forces, his own and those of evil spirits. There is no such thing as a neutral person. The luxury of thinking so is one of the last illusions from living in a society where God is not taken seriously at all.
Our greatest hindrance seems to be not being able to see the situation as it really is. So we form a whole series of halfway houses. When a person comes from a prison or some other
institution, he or she often enters a halfway house to adjust to society. But what happens when society is not the thing you want to adjust to anymore? We have no time for the halfway house model. When somebody comes out of any kind of trouble, there’s only one thing a Christian should have to say: we belong to a community, a family, join us.
The Catholic Church is not like some super referral service. The Catholic Church is a supernatural reality. It is the only place where men and women can live a truly human life. The clearer we are in understanding that and the simpler we are in living it, the sooner God’s children, all human beings, will really hear good news.
If this renewal of the normal Christian life is an act of God, then what is the normal Christian life? There seems to be five basic ingredients:
-To know Jesus personally, experientially, and to give your whole life to Him as Lord.
-To live in conscious awareness of the power of the Holy Spirit to make possible what seems almost impossible.
-To show forth this normal Christian life in the fruits of service, primarily evangelization and the preaching of the word of God with power.
-To live in community with others.
-To have these communities relate to one another in a perfect unity.
When all alternatives of daily living appear exhausted and unacceptable, the position brought about by the Risen Lord that we call the normal Chrisan life is being restored and movingly stated: a call to boldly rely on Jesus and the power of His spirit and to give up relying on many of the things we have relied on in the past.
To quote from a book that was written several years ago: “And we rush to our brokers and our bankers and our realtors and our diplomats to solve our problems, instead of relying on the power of Christ. Even if the whole human world were covered with concrete and all our lives were mechanized in steel and chrome, even so! Someday, somehow, our faith and our reliance on the Spirit would crack that cement. And through that solitary crack the flower of faith and true worship of the Risen Christ would blossom and grow… And over the bleak landscape of our human life
would break the sunrise of the resurrection! Believe it, my brothers! Believe it! … and it shall be done.”
Exaggerated? Yes. Simplistic? Perhaps. Worth thinking about? Definitely!