The challenge of obedience…

15 Jun

Would we be so bold in our faith?

I just finished watching the episode of “The Tudors” where St. Thomas More was beheaded for stubbornly refusing to accept the sovereignty of Henry over the Church. Prior to his death, Cardinal John Fisher was likewise executed for his refusal to yield to the king’s demands. These scenes of brave men giving their own lives for their belief in the Church caused me to reflect on the lives of the saints and martyrs. You know, we have had so many examples of people who have genuinely and vigorously sought after God. It is as if God, realizing that the example of Christ can sometimes seem so austere and impossible to reach, gives people extraordinary strength and courage so that we may have models of love and grace that appear nearer to our ourselves. I wonder what would happen in our lives, our homes, our communities, and this world, if each of us were to get in touch with our own inner saint. No, not the sort of saint who is perfect and seems to never make any sort of mistakes. The real saint–the one who in spite of human frailty and flaw, is able to draw upon the vast expanses of God’s own love and strength to accomplish seemingly supernatural deeds of mercy and goodness in this world. These people were not perfect–far from it. They were not holier-than-thou, nor did they beat people with the love that God had given them rather to share as a treasured gift. These ordinary people, people like us, just discovered a deep well of grace from which to draw. They found the source, and though they were frightened and unsure of themselves, they were able to stand in the most dire situations and represent something greater.

The stories of the saints also remind us that we are not alone in our human condition, and that we are not the first to experience suffering or face severe trials. The great stories of the lives of the saints remind us that we stand in an eternal line of those who have been called to care for “the least of these,” those that Jesus himself stated are the most essential inhabitants of God’s kingdom. We may therefore serve them with reckless abandon, thereby fulfilling the law of love, as we are surrounded with the same strength and love that gave the martyrs sufficient grace to face all manner of pain, torture, and death.

Imagine, a world full of saints.

Your servant,

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One Response to “The challenge of obedience…”

  1. reidwomack June 15, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    I like your thought about serving or seeking with “reckless abandon”. It sounds extreme in today’s culture, but passages from Revelations clearly point out that “lukewarm” approaches aren’t good enough. So……. it seems that with “reckless abandon” is the only way to be “true” to our calling. I see it as true, yet I continue to favor the easy and comfortable too much of the time……

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