ISSUES OF FAITH: Reach out and get to know God

WHAT IS THERE to say, really? We are all pretty much confined to our homes, our thoughts subdued — these same thoughts occasionally taking off and racing trying to find purchase somewhere as we try and come to grips with the shadowed enormity of what is going on.

“We see through a glass darkly,” Paul informs us in 1 Corinthians 13, in one of the most oft-repeated chapters in the entirety of scripture.

With God, this is the standard. This is why Jesus talks about faith so much and how our faith should be childlike, innocent, pure and true.

These days should not be wasted, but that God is providing an opening.

Truly, things could get much worse. I write this with every day seeming to provide the unprecedented.

When Jesus asked his followers, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth?” you can’t marginalize the sincerity of his words. Jesus is talking about us.

You ask yourself, “What does faith look like?” And you should ask yourself this question.

Read the Beatitudes in Matthew Chapter 5 as Jesus lays out his prescription for life.

Read each of them, pray and meditate upon them.

Think of times in your life when they have come into play.

Ask Jesus to help you achieve what he is asking of us.

Humility is a strength when you lean on the Messiah.

Jesus also asks us to love God and love our neighbor. In fact, this is the core of the Gospel.

How do you love God? The greatest gift we can give God (initially) is to simply recognize him.

Many conversions began with a single person imploring God to “do something” — a challenge to God, something outside of desperation I wouldn’t recommend.

How about simply a conversation with God each and every day? Again, humility is a strength when you lean on the Trinity.

Put away your ego. It’s really not going to be a very good meeting, so to speak, when you finally meet Jesus face to face.

You’ll realize that all these things that He was asking you to do, some very small but with ripple effects that last forever, but you didn’t hear this call because, well, your time, at that time, was much more important. How unbelievably sad will that recognition be?

Love God, love your neighbor.

God loves spontaneous prayers, those prayers that stumble or launch from our heart at “odd” times — spontaneous, I don’t need to explain what that means.

Let’s face it, if you don’t talk to God then the “love God” section of Jesus’ core commandments is not going to really fly. If you have a hard time visualizing or “focusing” on God, then know you are not alone. But this time that we are quarantined in our homes I truly believe is God trying to get our attention. So don’t blow it; introduce yourself. Pray and talk to God. You will feel different.

Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” The antidote in our troubled times. God bless you all and be at peace knowing that the Prince of Peace has your back.

_________

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. His email is mikea@olypen.com.

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