theROCK

You Can't Quantify Love

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As a young man, I often found myself intrigued by words. In particular, there was one word that stood out to me the most - my name: Francis. I would ask my grandparents why I was given this name and what was significant about it. Frequently, they would respond that I was not old enough to understand the importance of it. As I grew, I would come into an understanding about my namesake: St. Francis of Assisi.

Since learning this, I have often looked to him as someone who truly understood what it means to live poorly. But let me be clear: just because he had a simple life, did not mean he was poor. On the contrary, St. Francis was truly a man who was rich in the love of God - which is something that cannot be quantified.

In our modern day, we often equate success with people who have the best or newest things because we can see what they have and assume they must be living a great life. Yet, society has a habit of scorning those who strive to be pure, dedicated to their faith, and constantly seeking a relationship with God. This is because a relationship with God is not something we can, in fact, quantify. Rather, it is something that we can feel and rely upon even in our most needy of moments.

We must seek God and grow our love and trust in Him. For God is truly all around us, as St. Francis points out in his Canticle of Creation, whether it be in the Sun, the Moon, the Fire, or even in Death. God is always with us. His love knows no bounds, and is not something we can quantify. Be like St. Francis: find God and grow in His life all around you. 

What is Truth?

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Two weeks ago I had an encounter with a couple which had me reflecting upon Pontius Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is Truth?” I was at a restaurant with some friends when a woman and her husband approached me. They had noticed my collar and felt moved to come over and ask me some questions. These “questions” turned into an hour and a half long conversation. In this conversation they shared their story. They had a Christian background, but now did not identify as any religion. As the woman told me, there were just too many inconsistences and discrepancies in the Bible to be able to know what was true and what was false.

This led them on a crusade for truth that, as the woman admitted, made them so thoroughly confused they had no idea where to turn. Is Jesus really who he says he is? Was he really foretold in the Old Testament or did mankind read too much into the Scripture? How could the Bible be the Word of God if humans had written it? These were some of the questions that plagued her and yet the core of her angst was the very question Pilate asked Jesus 2000 years ago: What is Truth?

I am not going to necessarily answer that question today (sorry), but briefly look at the symptoms of Truth, because what struck me with this couple was what a life looks like without Truth. In my opinion, this couple was not looking for Truth, but rather proof, and oddly enough, this search for proof led them further from Truth.

Truth will always challenge us, but it will never confuse us or make us doubt more. This couple was very lost, they did not even know what they believed and did not believe anymore. Truth does not do this. Truth brings peace, comfort, stability, and a firm foundation. What is my “proof” that Jesus is who he says he is? Well, when I live the life Christ wants me to live, I am more at peace, more at comfort, more stable, and when I do not, my life quickly becomes tossed about in the storm. I may not always be able to explain away every inconsistency or discrepancy, I may not be able to answer every question, but I don’t need to. When living in the Truth there is little reason for proof, it is like asking a wife to prove her love to her husband.

What is Truth? I may not always be able to tell you the answer, but I can show you.

 

Tags: truth

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  With this statement our forefathers declared the very purpose of government. This statement and the remainder of the Declaration of Independence would set in motion the great nation in which we live.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the signing of this document and the birth of our nation. There will be parades, fireworks, picnics, cookouts with families and friends celebrating together the birth of this great experiment. My memories of these events date back to the late 50’s and early 60’s. Yes, as my daughter never fails to remind me, I am old. I recall with fondness great parades, large bands, drum majors and majorettes, batons twirling and flags flying. I recall fire engine sirens, huge crowds, fireworks that were weak by today’s standards, and fun with family and friends. The more things change….the more they stay the same.

But this experiment is not over. It is not complete. These unalienable rights have yet to be fully attained. I do not believe they will ever be fully attained this side of heaven and yet strive to attain them we must. We must never tire of bringing the kingdom of God to earth. Today we hear Jesus say, “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” and so it is, just as surely today as it was in 1776, as it was in Jesus time, and before. 

Jesus’ solution? Go to all the nations, to all the people, with great haste.  This mission we are sent on is a dangerous one so don’t be dallying about. Go and offer your peace to everyone and to those who return that peace stay with them and teach them about the greatest gift ever given. The gift of those very same rights given to us by a God who loves us so much he became a man, suffered and died at our hands only so we might spend eternity in paradise with him. Spend eternity in that one place where all men are truly equal and love abounds. The one place where we coexist in, no, become a very part of love, which is the Creator.  

Go, live and proclaim God’s peace!

 

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