Monday, February 26, 2018

Three years

I made a ten-day retreat at Our Lady of Clear Creak Abbey in Oklahoma in Advent. My first visit there was for a week retreat last Lent. In many senses I think I found my spiritual home. I'll be back.

One of the things that was revealed to me was that, after His thirty years of hidden life, Our Lord had just three years in which to carry out His public ministry, set out His teaching, gather together twelve Apostles who would be the foundation stones of the Church, setting Peter as the rock upon which the Church would be built. Three years! He didn't hold planning committees, make five year pastoral plans, devise strategies... He did and He taught. His mission would end in apparent failure, on the Cross. But by dying He was able to rise to a life beyond death and send the Holy Spirit to guide the Church through the centuries in accordance with His promise: "I will be with you always."

On that retreat I saw the futility of political thinking in the Church and, indeed, in my life. I must live as if I have only three years in which to do all that the Lord desires. I must take risks, be daring, and not embrace the prudence of the world. In these days of moral decadence in society and doctrinal crisis in the Church, this is all the more urgent.

I recently turned 60. I have no idea how long I have to live. My mother died aged 72 and my father died aged 79. I expect to live longer than they, but I do not know. I do not think that I am holy enough for death but I am ready for it at any time - all that I ask the Lord is to give me enough time to "get my affairs in order" so that others are not burdened by a death for which the deceased has not provided.

On that same retreat, Jesus and Mary asked me to make a very serious decision concerning renunciation. I was preparing to renew my Consecration to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. I knew that I could not renew it coherently without making that renunciation. Our life must be for God or it's for nothing. The crises in the world and the crises in the Church are "crises of saints." We can enjoy the good things of the earth but this season of Lent is surely a season of special graces so that the Collect of this Monday after the Second Sunday in Lent (1962 Missal) may be granted:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that Thy family, while afflicting the flesh by fasting from food, may follow justice and abstain from sin. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...