ISSUES OF FAITH: Check your ego and ask Jesus for help

HEAVEN OR HELL, one thing we know for sure is that our soul is meant for eternity. Our words, our actions, our faith, will hold us accountable.

Most of us are good people, in that we try to do the right thing, but oftentimes our ego gets in the way.

To repeat a phrase that I find has great value: Your ego is not your amigo.

Most of us, not all of us, have a need to be heard, listened to. We know we are right, and why can’t everyone see that? Unless we are our own boss, we have all experienced this.

A couple things can happen here. Bitterness can set in or something else. It is this “something else” that has spiritual value.

Utopia is a term Thomas More, the saint, coined about 500 years ago. It has Greek origin and it really means no place, or an “imaginary place.” Utopia doesn’t exist, in other words. Kind of like Middle Earth.

As humans, we’d like it to exist. We even expect it to exist. If people listened to me, we might say, it would exist.

Recognize that we are fallen creatures, completely imperfect. If you’ve ever been disappointed by someone you thought was the cat’s pajamas, or you were that person who fell from the pedestal, then join the club of humanity. This is not an excuse to be intentionally bad, just a recognition that life is messy, so to speak.

How you react to adversity is the key. Can you lay that ego aside and literally ask Jesus for help? Because that is the key. Egos prevent us from seeking help. We want to road-grade our way into our own utopia, whether momentary or not, because we are convinced our cause is just.

Mother Teresa had a saying: “God does not expect perfection, just obedience.” In case you are wondering, this is obedience to God.

How do you do that? Develop a relationship with Jesus. People are intrigued by those who seem to have a true relationship with God. Even King Herod, who greased the beheading of John the Baptist, was intrigued.

“When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him” (Mark 6:20). John spoke the truth, and that was the “intriguing” part for Herod.

John was the final prophet before Jesus. It was his duty to proclaim the truth. We are not prophets, but through baptism, we have received graces and spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit, and it is in our domain to proclaim the truth — it is our duty, too — but not an ego-driven opinion.

To discern the difference is the mark of a Christian.

As we seek God, trying to walk closer with him, we actually may find our lives becoming quieter. This natural occurrence is giving space and time to God, and once you begin on this road, it is difficult to go back to society’s bombardment of noise.

Silence is absolutely necessary in moving forward in the spiritual life. The Virgin Mary, mother of God, demonstrates this well in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Twice we see from her that she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Perhaps this is meekness, but we know that is a good thing, for they will “inherit the earth,” as Jesus proclaims in his Beatitudes.

Back on Nov. 3, 2014, trumpet player Chris Botti performed the national anthem on Monday Night Football, and amid the disquieting uproar today, it is good to remember when the beauty of a song can bring football players to tears, as it did this night. It is worth YouTube-ing.

“Nothing attracts attention — in a good way — like a sincerely held belief. If nothing else, it provokes curiosity. And it can reveal a longing in others to belong to something greater than themselves and lets them know who they can ask about it” (blogger Susie Lloyd).

May our quiet witness and our walk with God enrich ourselves and those around us. And may we try to be faithful, always, to the truth. Mahalo and aloha.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. Mike Acheson is director of religious education at Queen of Angels Roman Catholic Church in Port Angeles and St. Joseph Parish in Sequim.

More in Life

Online church services on the Peninsula

PORT ANGELES • Independent Bible Church: 9 a.m. Sunday, a link to… Continue reading

Northwest cherry crops facing disease and decreased harvest

Cherry industry officials in Oregon and Washington state… Continue reading

HORSEPLAY: Keeping pests away from your horse

HAVE YOU HEARD this joke? When talking to a person who annoys… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Thirteen ways to summer garden bliss

YOUR “CORONA GARDENS,” yard, lawn and landscape should all be going gangbusters… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Return to God with your whole heart

FIRST, IT’S GREAT to be alive. I just spent 10 days at… Continue reading

Sequim Botanical Garden boasts hundreds of irises

Hundreds of irises will be blooming over the next few… Continue reading

Best updated automobiles for 2020

By Reese Counts | Edmunds via The Associated Press In every new… Continue reading

Memorial Day

In commemoration of the people who have died in service of the… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: ‘Get the dirt’ on dirt in your garden

THE WEATHER WAS so idealistic for Mother’s Day and the much-needed rain… Continue reading

Port Angeles Farmers Market modifies operations

Amy Preusser of Agnew, right, receives a container of… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: No matter how lonely, humanity is never alone

“THEN THE LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man… Continue reading

Sequim Farmers Market to open Saturday

Venue has been modified for health precautions