Friday, August 19, 2016

"...simply love first"

We as Catholics are blessed with a richness and fullness to our faith that all too often, we unfortunately constrict, constrain, and confine in a manner that Jesus Christ never intended. We have an amazing triad of divinely inspired dogma, doctrine and devotions that when properly embraced, truly set us free to be Christ to our brothers and sisters. Sadly however, too many Catholics become so entrenched in dogma, doctrine, and devotions (i.e. Rosaries, Chaplets, Jesus Prayer, Novenas, litanies, etc.) that their hearts are unable to see what the eyes of Christ call us to envision. 

If our dogma, doctrine or devotions are not drawing us out into the uncertainty of the deep waters, then we reduce them to serving merely as barriers that confine us in the shallows where safety abounds.  If our doctrine, devotions or dogma do not draw us out of our comfort zones into those places we’d much rather avoid, then we reduce them to nothing more than a straight-jacket that constrains us into ourselves. If our devotions, doctrine, or dogma do not physically draw us into the darkness of the world to shed light, then we reduce them to nothing more than a ‘lamp hidden away under a bushel basket’ (see Luke 11:33), whose light is constricted, serving no purpose and having no value.

How can we call ourselves Christians if we are not fully willing to abandon the safety of the shallow water and follow Him? A great lesson that we can learn from our Protestant brothers and sisters is to simply LOVE first, last, and always, then the triad of our faith, (dogma, doctrine, devotions) can serve in the manner truly intended, as a set of wings that enable us soar limitlessly, rather than as a set of shackles that confine us to the four walls of our comfort zone. 

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