Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nothing Good Comes Easy

Opening Prayer: (PS 121:1-2)
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains;
whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth. Amen.

Living life as a childlover is hard, whether you're a Christian or not, but it's a lot harder if you're a Christian. Childlove is all about personal sacrifice, which may be why God made you this way. For this reason we were called to be childlovers: so that we could unite our daily sacrifices to the Lord's sacrifice, for His sake, which is what is good for all. Without casting judgement, we can say that it is hard for anyone professing to be a Christian to really be united with the Lord Jesus Christ if they are living lives to themselves, for their own pleasures, lusts, and desires. It is hard to truly do as we are all called to do (sacrifice our desires) if we are not actually "doing" that, for faith without works is not enough (James 2:26). It's important that we recognize who we are really serving, and if there is any part of ourselves that is still serving our own pleasures, to call upon the Lord to root that desire out of our hearts so that we may live entirely to Him. But what do we do when God doesn't just up and root it out, but forces us to "bear it" instead? Maybe we need to start learning what "true righteouness" is all about. There's nothing easy about "bearing it," but nothing truly good comes easy.

Readings and Homily:

It's not enough to simply be a "good pedophile." Christian Childlovers are called to be Christians wholly and completely, and to give all the "other parts" of themselves over to God in sacrifice. In doing so, and only in doing so, do we become better "childlovers." Christ was very clear that to be a Christian is to forsake all things that are not Christ first and foremost, and even those things and people we love and are most dear to us. It can seem totally against our better judgement to forsake our devotion to children, but remember, it's not about what our judgement tells us, but what God's judgement is. Our own judgement is fickle and will only bring us tribulation and self-imprisonment, but God's judgement is truth itself, and that truth will "set you free" (John 8:32). Does this mean there is any part of our understanding that we should cling to? What if we have sexual longings that seem "good for us?" Can we trust our feelings? King Solomon both lived and knew the answer to this, and the answer was then just as now a resounding "no": "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6). Christ reitterated the importance of this central teaching:
Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” Lk 9:22-25
We may want to serve children first because of the longings of our heart, but that is to be leaning on our own understanding, which we must not do. Christ tells us again "You can not serve God and riches!" (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). We might think we are indeed "made rich" when we are blessed with young friends to nurture, but God wants us to know children are not the source of our riches (or blessings), for even something like children or young friends are just temporary things. Kids grow up. They fall out of contact. They are surely not the path to happiness since they are so transient, nor are they a measure of our ability to be happy because where would that leave us without them? The fact is we can still be happy without them in our lives and we can still be miserable with them, as many childlovers will attest. Christ reminds us in the above scripture that we are not "made rich" by what we possess, but by what we receive from on high, whatever it may be. We have to serve God first, and ONLY THEN if God wants, He will show us how we can serve His most precious children in a more righteous and Godly way than we would ever be capable of doing on our own!

The fact is, God knows the longings of our heart, and that what we are really after is deeper communion with Him. Sometimes we can put a boy or a girl in the place of God though, which is idolatry, and that is why God forbids such in the First Commandment: "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5). Not one part of your heart should be loving anything that is not God first, but if you really do love God first, only then will you understand that your calling is then to go and love others, including children, "as God loves them." It also bestows blessings upon you! Love of God inspires you to pray to Him for the longings of your heart, and to put your trust in His ability to give you what is best for you, and also gives you a much better assurance than you had by yourself: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24). And not only in spoken prayer, but also in the way you live your life in Christ, you are given this assurance: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you" (John 15:7). Notice this assurance is by condition. You have to both ask for it (by faith), and have to live a Christ-like life (with good works), and all that is good will be given to you from God, whatever it may be. Christ also says persistence is key: 
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.... "Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" LK 18:1-8
This message is especially directed not just at those who are desiring temporal things, like YFs, but also at those who are genuinely seeking after spiritual things, like a deepening relationship with Christ Jesus. Why would God seem to be so slow to answer even our prayers for our own spiritual needs? Sometimes it seems like we could be so much more closer to God if only God would just REMOVE our unhealthy desires to begin with! Why do we have to suffer with them and fall away from God again and again (ad infinitum) until we are literally desperate and despaired? Wouldn't it just be easier for God to remove our sexual desires for children completely and make us holy? Why can't we just have our great conversion and change of heart, make it a done deal, seal the desire away forever, and then see to it that we never act as dogs "returning to our own vomit" as Proverbs writes and St. Peter repeats (Proverbs 26:11; 2nd Peter 2:22)? We may be tempted to become angry with God and curse him for putting this "curse" on us as pedophiles, that we should live with these desires and succumb to them over and over and over! Why would God do this to us? 

The answer is simple. It is because God wants us to "pray always without becoming weary" (Luke 18:1), and knows we wouldn't if everything we wanted was simply given to us, even our spiritual desires. God is capable of removing our sexual desires right now, but He doesn't, because He wants to "do us one better." He doesn't want to simply force us to be righteous and take away all impediments for us, but to teach us the true path of righteousness and how to be righteous. It does not come easy, and it requires personal sacrifice for the will of God daily, which means dying to self and everything we know and think and hold dear, putting it ALL at the feet of God and backing away, and then doing as He has told us for our own good, even if we have to do it thousands of times over!

Remember the agony in the garden? The humanity of Christ prayed at least three times for God to simply "take away" the "cup" that he was being forced to drink from (death on the cross), but ultimately left it all to the will of God (Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42). St. Paul then reminds us that if God dealt with his own Son in such a way (a Son He was "well pleased with" (Matthew 3:17)), how much more will He also deal with us the same way: "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). The point is, Jesus never said it we should only pray when it is easy, but especially when things are hard. In fact, when things are easy, it is then that we feel we don't need God, but when push comes to shove, it is then that God reminds us of just how much we need Him. 

Consider these words: "There are many saints in heaven who would perhaps never have become saints if God had not allowed them to struggle on longer than they would have wished, against trials and difficulties—spiritual as well as physical..."Ask and you shall receive," not perhaps what you wanted, but what God knew you needed. "Seek and you shall find," not the easy way which you thought you deserved, but the harder way which would make you more deserving of heaven. "Knock and it shall be opened unto you," not the door you were standing at, which would have delayed or endangered your progress, but the door further down the street where refreshment and new courage to continue on your upward climb were awaiting you." 
--The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.

And then consider the words of the Apostle Paul to his younger friend Timothy: 
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. 2 TM 3:14-4:2
What amazing advice to give to a young person! The key is being persistent, whether it is convenient or inconvenient to do so. It is all well and good to be persistent when it convenient, but know that it is under TRIAL that God MAKES you "worthy of heaven." So I say, be persistent, especially when it is inconvenient to do so, which for a childlover is frequent, and you will have the assurance of God: "But the one who endures to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24:13). Something tells me that a martyr for the faith like St. Paul knew what he was talking about...

Remember always that God made heaven and earth, so how much more can He "make" you? The key is trusting that He can. Never ever ever give up.

Grace and peace be with you. 

Closing Prayer: (PS 121: 5-6)
The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade;
he is beside you at your right hand.
The sun shall not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Entendí bien?
    Si toda la vida he sido BL, entonces debo dejar de serlo?
    Lo considero ajeno a mi manera de pensar.
    Puedo ser buen cristiano y a la vez BL.


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