Tuesday, November 1, 2011
TO KNOW AND TO LOVE: THAT'S WHAT MAKES US LIKE GOD! HOLY AND SAINTLY
We need basics today when it comes to our Catholic Faith. Not many Catholics for a couple of generations where taught the basics in a way that stuck to their mind and souls.
The Baltimore Catechism for Primary School age children teaches that human beings are creatures composed of body and soul and made to the image and likeness of God.
In other words, God made us like Himself. God's greatest powers are to know and to love. He has these powers without limit. He gave us a share in these great powers.
We don't make ourselves like God, nor do we make ourselves saints. The work of both belongs to God.
He makes us saints, first by choosing us (accepting us as His own people/child) through Holy Baptism by which Jesus Christ washes away Original Sin and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus incorporates us into His adopted family which is the Catholic Church into which Jesus initiates us. In Confirmation, Jesus continues to initiate us into His Catholic Church and confirms and strengthens His life of the Holy Spirit within us. In Confession, he renews the gift of forgiveness first given in Baptism and now of actual sins and in Holy Communion, He continues to allow us to share in His sacrificial offering to the Father on the Cross and to nourish us with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, He does not become a part of us, but rather He makes us a part of Himself by renewing our membership in His Body the Catholic Church when we receive Him worthily.
Giving the gifts of sanctifying and actual grace, God equips us to know and love Him with all our being and to know and love our neighbor as ourselves. He equips us for discipleship, holiness and sainthood.
When we are dismissed from Mass, we are to live as His holy followers, as His saints. The Communion of saints is composed of three groups of people, the Faithful on earth, the Blessed in heaven and the Holy Souls in purgatory (Church Militant, Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering).
Becoming a saint is as act of God made visible through the Sacraments of the Church and our ability to freely use the gifts of God to know and to love. What is required of us is PARTICIPATION in the works of God. But even here, God's grace makes that possible. But we can choose to ignore God's gifts and not use them at all. We can choose to disobey God, not know Him or love Him or our neighbor as our self. This brings a negative judgment and could jeopardize the soul to final damnation.