Last week I asked you to reflect on four central questions which pertain to the very core of our existence. These are not questions that necessarily have one answer as I stated before, but are there to help us see our own uniqueness and purpose in this life. Continue to take these questions before our Lord and His Mother in prayer. Then, and only then, will our vision of "living greater" deepen within our loving God.
This week I want to concentrate on this choice that we have been given to "live greater". The choice that each of us have to make at one point in our lives, to either follow the lies of the culture or to follow the truth in Christ. A quote that stands out to me at this moment is a quote I read from Pope Clement I. He said, in regards to our choice of living, that "this world and the world to come are two enemies. We cannot therefore be friends to both; but we must decide which we will forsake and which we will enjoy." What is he saying here? Is he saying that we cannot enjoy this life? Is he saying that we need to walk around depressed and lost, ignoring the beauty that this life has to offer only to await the next? Quite the opposite! Pope Clement is asking us to make the decision of which life we are going to participate in... NOW! He is asking us which vision we are going to take on... a vision of the world, or a vision of God.
Pope Clement understood that this life is but a gift, one of the most precious gifts our God could have ever given us! He is asking nothing more than for us to choose to live in the exact way we were created to live! Not with worldly minds of greed, selfishness and despair. But of heavenly minds... ones of self giving, sacrifice and hope! In choosing this heavenly vision we then venture outside ourselves to a world that is eternally good. A world where greatness seeps into our very lives. A world where we no longer feel inadequate or filled with despair, but a world where our hearts become flooded with God.
This choice, however, is not a one time choice. This life of greatness is a choice that is made everyday. From the time we wake up in the morning, to the time we go to bed at night. Yes, it is a choice that will be difficult may times. It will demand that sacrifice that I stated before. But it is a choice that both now and in the end, fills us with the lasting peace of our God. A peace that no longer makes us desperate for the numbness of the world, but a choice where we faithfully participate within the fullness of life, Jesus Christ.
I know I am not being very concrete here, and this is for a reason. In order for us to dive deeper into this faith, we must be willing to first give our "yes". The same "yes" that Mary, our Mother, gave when she was asked to bear the Son of God to the world. We too are called to participate in that "yes", where we then can enter into this greater life. This is what it means to enjoy life! This is what people all around the world are truly desiring when they look for that lasting joy and fulfillment. Emptiness cannot be filled with emptiness! When we look for what we think is going to make us happy in the world, we, in the end, are still left empty. Only our God can give us what we truly desire.
This week, as we go about our day, let us remind ourselves that there is a decision to make. A decision to participate in and enjoy this life in Christ, or the decision to ignore Him, only to find that we are emptier than before. The choice is yours.
Jon Leonetti is a Catholic radio host and speaker, providing keynote presentations and parish missions in churches, schools and conferences across the country. You can find more information on Jon at his website: www.jdleonetti.com