I came across the following prayer the other day in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s Book of Common Worship.
O high eternal Trinity!
O our redeemer and resurrection!
O fire ever burning,
O light-giving light:
you are the One Who Is,
and I am the one who is not. Amen.
– Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
I was struck by this prayer’s power and truth in its brevity. It served to quickly and humbly state the truth of who God is and what God has done for all people, throughout time, while acknowledging the proper order of our existence. God is God and we are not. May we all live a life of love, service and devotion to God and to each other which reflects this reality.
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’ – C.S. Lewis from The Great Divorce
I am reading the book “Back to Virtue” by Peter Kreeft. On page 23, he writes:
The premodern practical philosophy, or life view, flowed from the premodern theoretical philosophy, or world world view: there is a God; therefore conform to him. The modern life view flows from the modern world view: there is no God; therefore we play God to the world. Both philosophies are consistent, but one of the two must be wrong, disastrously wrong.
Which philosophy do you think is “disastrously wrong”?
I saw the movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past” last night with my two sons. At one point in the movie, Professor Xavier’s past and future selves are talking to each other. His future self tell his past self that the greatest gift is hope. I immediately thought of the following passage from Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Through faith in Christ, all people have access to the “hope of the glory of God”. A hope that will not fail or fade or leave. A hope and promise that no matter what our circumstances Christ is enough. With hope in Christ, we can persevere through all trials and sufferings. What a wonderful, unbreakable promise.
On the flip side, we are continually being made false promises to put our hopes in worldly things that will ultimately fail us. Things like relationships, health, jobs, sex and money. Things that will fade or break or disappoint. Worldly things offer hope but it is a false hope.
Professor X is right. The greatest gift is hope. The hope of God through faith in Christ – past, present and future!
See you on the third floor!