Our lives are beautiful gifts from God, and how we live them out is our prayer of gratitude for such a gift. God well marked the path — not only to living a holy life, but also to having life in abundance all of our days and, then, receiving the gift of uninterrupted bliss for all eternity! The only condition for these gifts is that we must be lovingly obedient to God’s Ten Commandments and always love Him above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.
God gave us an example of how we are to live when God the Son was sent by the heavenly Father to preach forgiveness and mercy for repentance and to allow himself to be the final and complete sin offering for all the collective sins of mankind for all time — if man would but repent of evil doing, turn back to God and be obedient to His laws. Jesus was our Crucified Creator as all who came into the world came through Him, with Him, in Him and for Him.
He took possession of the human body and soul which He created in the virginal womb of the Mother of God. He never deemed equality with God something to be grasped, although He had the right to do so as the Third Person of the Trinity, God the Son. Rather, He became human in all things except sin, something totally impossible for Him as it is the opposite of His Divine Nature.
Jesus came for all who will turn to Him because He never rejects or turns away anyone who comes to Him. He will sup with us and never leave us orphans or abandon us. If we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and Christ’s righteousness, He will also add everything we need for our earthly life. His death on a brutal and barbaric cross was God’s gift to His children, and this is something we should often meditate upon: what it cost God to save not only our souls, but even our very lives at times.
Our Love of God
God wants one thing from us before anything else, and that is our love, for ultimately He is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them. He also wants our obedience to His laws. An upright man meditates on God’s laws all day long, and God would have us worshipfully, obediently and lovingly do the same. God wants us not only to mediate upon His laws, but also to form our lives according to these moral imperatives.
Then, we are to bear good and lasting fruit through the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy in our chosen godly vocation while, at the same time, picking up the crosses God gives us for our sanctification, dying to ourselves and following after Jesus upon the narrow road that leads to eternal life.
If we are faithful to live in this manner, we will experience daily the joy of our eternal salvation and God’s peace beyond understanding. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will identify us as followers of Jesus, because all who follow after Him are given the great gift of the Holy Spirit and these fruits of the Spirit.
Corporal and Spiritual Gifts
Each year, during the beautiful season of Advent, we celebrate God’s greatest gift to His creation. It is an excellent time for us to attempt to mortify ourselves and multiply our corporal and spiritual gifts so that we can give Our Baby Creator our hearts fully and without the impediment of anything offensive to Him. Next Advent, let us make an extra effort to let go of some pleasure in reparation to the Baby Jesus for those who are so determined to take violently the great gift of life from others.
And, each day, let us make a renewed commitment and lead the way as peacemakers so that we will most assuredly be sons of God. Let us offer up all the pain we feel when we are tempted to take offence and put on kindness instead so that we might turn aside others’ wrath.
Let us make a renewed effort at daily prayer and spiritual reading, as well as regular participation in the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church. Let us renew our commitment to those given to our care to always appreciate the beautiful gift of life in them.
Each Christmas, let our sins be turned to virtues and be the presents we give to God the Son. Let us renew our willingness to die to all within us that is offensive to the God Child and renew our commitment and love for the Mother of God, the Refuge of Sinners and Mediatrix of all grace as she watches over her newborn babe in a manger who is God the Son and her Creator as well.
Each day, let us rejoice at the wonderful gift of life in abundance and an eternity of bliss and live our lives to the fullest capacity we can. Let us invest our talents in service to our Divine Lord and thank Him every day for the splendid graces He brings us. Let us thank Him as well for those times of travail, for these too are a gift from Him designed to strengthen our patience and compassion for those who are also suffering.
Better and Holier People
Those times also help us to more greatly fortify our virtue as well as to strengthen our character. We should thank our Divine Lord for everything that comes into our lives, for it is all a gift meant to make us better and holier people. Our Catholic Faith teaches that we are ultimately judged on what good we have done and what suffering we have lovingly endured.
From an old, retired semi-professional boxer and soldier I learned that I could only lose if I despaired, gave up, and quit. That wisdom tells us that we must never despair or quit on the Lord. So let us keeping on fighting the good fight of principalities against principalities and never resort to a war of flesh against flesh unless it is part of our duty. Let us put on love and love our eternally merciful Christ for coming into this world and making it a better world to live in. He cared so much for us that He was not afraid to stretch our His sacred hands and feet and receive the nails put into Him through the refusal to repent and accept His mercy.
A new year is underway. Let us make it a year of greater effort to repent of our sins, to turn from them and to practice the virtue most contrary to them. Let us thank God the Son and Creator for His eternal kindness to us while we unite any suffering we may have to endure to His Sacred Passion. Let us be more like our Savior each and every day of our lives and never fear our crucifixions. If we are not afraid to live Christ and Him crucified, then we will gain the wonderful gift of living Christ and Him resurrected.
This is the most exciting adventure we will ever have and, if we make certain to always keep our eyes on our crucified Creator and Lord, there will be absolutely no doubt in our minds that all will be eternally well when all is finished. We will also have absolutely no doubt that it was worth every tear we cried to accomplish the feat of sanctifying our souls, for those tears will sparkle in the Eternal Son Light and seem to us the very most precious jewels ever made.
MR. TOVREA writes from Denver, Colorado.