I read an article recently in the Catholic Voice about three different types of lived Christianity. Firstly there is relating to God in a somewhat fearful way. He is seen as like a policeman that we have to keep on our right side. If we are good and don’t die in a state of mortal sin, then we will win salvation at life’s end. Secondly there is a Christianity that is a matter of cultural custom. We feel good about practicing the rituals of the Faith. Thirdly there is a Christianity where there is a break-through to having a personal relationship with God like what we enjoy with a close friend or family member.
We can carry some or all of these different types of Christianity around with us. Hopefully there is a progression towards the third type which is the life that Jesus himself would have us attain. Two key elements in this progression are DESIRE and the effort we put into our prayer life.
The faith of St Clare (contemporary and follower of St Francis of Assisi and founder of the Poor Clare order) can be seen in this following letter to her spiritual daughter Blessed Agnes of Prague: Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose graciousness is our delight, whose gentleness fills us to overflowing, whose remembrance makes us glow with happiness, whose fragrance revives the dead, the glorious vision of whom will be the happiness of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem. For he is the brightness of eternal glory, the splendour of eternal light, the mirror without spot.
Today is also the feast day of St Philomena who was a favourite patron of St John Vianney. She can be seen at this link: http://www.philomena.org/patroness.asp
Garfield in his current mood is no advert for a deeper Christian living!