I have a love/hate relationship with slogans, philosophies of life, and pithy sayings. At one level I like the way they make me think. They sort of reduce all the complicated ways we think of things to a simple thought or insight. It’s good for a moment to cut through all the noise and consider “just one thing.” But that’s also my problem with these things. In reducing everything to one thing we lose the essential nuances and the sophistication that accept that not everything fits into a nice little saying.
For example, consider the saying “All things in moderation!” Well yes, moderation is a good thing most of the time. But there is also a time to throw moderation to the winds and become passionate about things. There is a time to fight (or celebrate) with gusto. Maybe its a fight for justice, or maybe we’re called to sell everything for the “pearl of great price.” So all right, “All things in moderation,… including moderation!” Anyway I hope you get the point about sayings and slogans: enjoy with caution and careful consideration.
The following video contains a very good collection of “philosophies of life.” Many of them I have never seen before and some of them are quite good. But remember, like analogies, many of the things said in them are as untrue as they are true. Consider them as a way to make you think: what is true about this saying? What is untrue? What distinctions are necessary, especially for a Christian? So think. But don’t think so hard that you fail to enjoy. Take what you like, take what is true and leave the rest.
It is Holy Week and we ponder the many gifts we have received from the Cross that Christ carried for us. The Cross was terrible and difficult but the gain was enormous. So too for the crosses we carry. Think of one thing in your life that you truly value and ponder the sacrifices that were neecessary so that you could enjoy it. Maybe it is your children; think of all the scarifices you made so that they could come to where they are today. Maybe it is your career, think of all the years of college and training that went into this blessing. Whatever it is, nothing of value comes without the cross. Where would you be today without your crosses?
This is the wisdom of the cross. Difficult and painful though it may be it always brings blessings if we carry it with faith. The following video is a little “homespun” but it illustrates well the wisdom of the cross.
Reason # 14:Here to Stay! When I think of the Church, I cannot avoid coming to the conclusion that the Church is a miracle! If the Catholic Church’s survival were dependent upon human beings, how long would she have lasted? I suppose, about twenty minutes, max! But here we are 2000 years later. To me, this is a miracle and a very clear sign that Jesus both founded and sustained the Catholic Church. The Roman empire is gone. Other nations and empires have come and gone. Chinese dynasties have risen and fallen. Fads and fashions, political movements and theories, all these have had their time only to fade away and disappear. But through it all, the Church has remained. There’s just something about the Church. Sometimes she’s loved by the world, more often she is hated, but in the end she remains, firm and fixed, as everything else comes and goes. And she will remain until the end!
You may say that this sounds arrogant, but I do not base it on any human promise. Rather, I base it on the promises of Christ. The place was Caesarea Phillipi: Simon had just confessed Jesus’ divinity and that He was the Messiah. Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon son of John, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are rock(Peter), and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:17 -18). Thus Christ promised that the Church is here to stay. There have been many times in history that the world in some way announced the death of the Catholic Church; but here we are, still! The Church’s influence may have waxed and waned, her numbers risen and fallen, but still we remain. Do you see the miracle? No human effort could ever have sustained this 2000- year unity. Only God can do that. Don’t argue with God; behold the proof that he both founded and sustains the Catholic Church. All other human institutions that you see around you will one day disappear, but the Church is here to stay. So why is this a reason to come home? Well I don’t know about you, but if I have such strong evidence that Jesus both founded and sustained His Church, I want to make darned sure I’m on the winning team. And it’s the winning team for no other reason than this: Jesus Christ is the head of the Body, the Church. You may hear the Church ridiculed, scoffed at, and called “out of touch.” But do not be fooled. She alone is the winning team, for she alone has the promise that she will be here to the end. Jesus guarantees it! Join the winning team.