theROCK

Post-Christian Era?

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From time to time I find myself listening to Relevant Radio. On several occasions, I have heard their various guests use the term "Post-Christian Era". Evidently, we live in the Post Christian Era. When did that happen? At some point in recent history, we went from an era that was Christian to one that no longer is. That is really scary to think about. At some point, our culture shifted from one that was dominantly filled with people who lived and conducted life in relationship to Jesus to one that doesn’t.

So, when did it happen? Rather than think on it too long, I’d rather consider how do we get it back? Why would we want to? For me, looking at a world that has turned away from God – a world that is angry, mistrusting, hateful, in pain, in sorrow, in distress, in all essence, lost – my faith can demonstrate how a life with God is loving, peaceful, gentle, fruitful, kind, focused, centered, and disciplined. For every aspect of what a life without God can reflect, a life with God can dispel. Knowing that there is a God, a very powerful and loving God, who wants the very best for me no matter what I do, provides a reason, a hope. A reason to keep at it. A hope for things promised yet to be revealed. Indeed, if it were easy, everyone would do it, but being a believer is not easy. Jesus has even said so. "It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." (Luke 18:25) The world is proving it to us right now. Since not everyone is doing it anymore, it clearly is not easy. More people are giving up than taking it on. I am comforted that I am among others who are taking it on. As a student of Scripture, it almost feels as if we are returning to our roots – there are more who need to be convinced of Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life than those who are already convinced.

Therefore, this is truly what makes us different. We are standing on the shoulders of Saints. We have the opportunity to learn from history and continue to make the future something better. We are in the Post-Christian Era that could become the Pre-Christian Era part 2 if we all live and work together for God’s greater glory.

All In!

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“If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” ~Luke 14:26

Did Jesus just say that? Has the Lord become an advocate of hate? Hate my wife and children? I think what Jesus is trying to teach us is the cost of true discipleship. A few chapters later in Luke’s gospel (18:18), a wealthy official asks Jesus what he must do to inherit the kingdom. Jesus tells him to sell what he owns and give to the poor, and then follow him. Perhaps what Jesus is saying is that true discipleship is difficult if one is significantly bound to the things of this world. If we are tied to earthly things we cannot fully take up the cross of discipleship. It’s not that Jesus wants us to abandon our families, but rather to make Him a priority in our life. He wants us to be “all-in” in this discipleship thing. Unlike the wealthy official, let us not sadly walk away from the Lord because of our love of the transitory things of the world. Let’s cling to the cross and walk the road to a more perfect discipleship. Let’s be ALL IN!

Pocket Saints

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I have a collection of pocket Saints. My pocket Saints are my go to group of "friends" that I call upon when needing some additional assistance in one way or another. Just as we have family/friends on earth that we call upon when we need assistance, I have collected a heavenly variety. I ask them to pray with me and intercede on my behalf to "get something done." I currently have a collection of twenty. They are, in no particular order, but for very particular reasons: St. Jude, St. Anthony, St. Dominic, St. Joseph, St. Gemma, St. Gianna, St. Marie Almondi, St. Cecelia, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Terese of Calcutta, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Monica, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Medjugorie, Mary Mother of God and All the Holy Men and Women. It is like saying a litany every time I lay them out like that. The newest addition is St. Monica.

I added St. Monica to my list of pocket Saints about a year ago. As a parent, my biggest fear is that my children, two daughters, would grow away from Christ. With my children now attending college, one is a junior at St. Norbert and the other a freshman at University of
Minnesota in the Twin Cities, I had to resign myself to the fact that I have done all I could to help them put on the armor of God, and it was now up to them to wear it. Faithfully. While I trust in God's providence in all things, I am only human. I want to control what happens to my children. I realized a little over a year ago that this is yet one more thing that I can't control. Therefore, I called upon all of my pocket Saints and solicited the help of St. Monica to surround my children with an extra layer of support to steer them in the right direction - straight to the heart of Jesus! St. Monica is the patient mother of the most notorious bad boy, St. Augustine. If her prayer power can turn the course for him, she certainly can keep my girls on track. The best tool I have now is my prayers. The hands-on work is complete.

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