Thursday, September 24, 2015

Are You Living as a Changed Person? (If not, give it a try while Pope Francis is here!)

Happy Thursday! Today I'm linking up with Blessed is She to talk about "changed." And, since we're in the midst of the epic papal visit and World Meeting of Families, we're going to talk about that too, okay? 

"Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual. Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven. Mission is born of a constant experience of God’s merciful anointing." ~Pope Francis, homily on September 23, 2015
For many cradle Catholics, it’s been relatively simple to “do our Catholic thing” as a routine. We pray, go to Mass, recite the 10 Commandments, do the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, and fast during Lent.  

Here’s the deal, though: We should not just be going through the motions of being “good Catholics.” We can go to as many Masses as we want to, pray as many Rosaries as we can, and be utterly dead inside. 

If we are just speaking words and moving around, we sure aren’t being “GOOD Catholics.” Instead, we’re feasting on the fruits of Complacency. Ah, Complacency. Complacency so easily pushes us down in our beds at night when we haven’t prayed all day. Complacency preaches, “Hey, you do so many things already, you have so many excuses, and you’re way better than those other people, so you’re doing pretty good and don’t need to think about your spiritual life.”

Complacency, timeless foe who always comes around, I am not a fan of you.

When the World Meeting of Families opened on Tuesday of this week, Bishop Robert Barron gave a stellar keynote, where he addressed none other than Complacency. Bishop Robert Barron noted that the Catholic Church isn’t about Complacency. Instead, he observed that: "The Church is in the business of making saints, last time I checked." We are called to live as changed people. Jesus Christ enters our bodies when we receive the Eucharist at Mass. Graces and gifts from the Holy Spirit flow within us.  God gives us so many ridiculously awesome blessings and graces, and He had redeemed us. Will we let ourselves be changed into greater conformity with God?

 On Wednesday, I eagerly watched and listened as President Obama welcomed Pope Francis to the White House. In his address, President Obama said to the pope: "You are shaking us out of our complacency." How true that is! Pope Francis has been very vocal in telling us to get out there, strive for holiness, and be a doer! In his writings, talks, and actions, Pope Francis continually shows us that we need to actively incorporate the Faith into our lives. Each and every day, in the church pew, in the office, in the voting booth, and at home, we need to be guided by our Faith.  

I encourage you, during these remaining days of the papal visit, to seriously examine yourself and your life. If something needs to change, why not work on changing it this week while the pope is here? Let his words impact you. Are you living as a changed person? Are you allowing God’s grace to move you? Are you letting your whole life be impacted by your Catholic beliefs and practices? 
 Consequently, no one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life, without concern for the soundness of civil institutions, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society. Who would claim to lock up in a church and silence the message of Saint Francis of Assisi or Blessed Teresa of Calcutta? They themselves would have found this unacceptable. An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or completely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better that we found it.”
 ~Pope Francis, Evangelium Gaudium 183

Thanks for joining me today! Head on over to Blessed is She to read more great reflections! 

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