Changing Garments and Straightening Out

nativityThe “cloak of misery.”The Word of God orders us to take it off.

What exactly is this dark and dingy cloak? And which exactly are the crooked and rough ways which we must straighten and smooth?

Maybe the prophet means the robe of a shallow, scattershot, and discombobulated life. A life without a fundamental commitment to give it meaning.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council considered many of the problems of our age. They identified one of them like this:

Many of our contemporaries never get to the point of raising questions about God, since they seem to experience no religious stirrings, nor do they see why they should trouble themselves about religion. (Gaudium et Spes 19)

Never get to the point of raising questions about God? Can we live a consistent life, a steady life, a unified life, without raising questions about God? Can we really even know ourselves at all without religion? Without genuine, faithful religious practice? Regular practice based on solid foundations and not just emotions and sentiments, or my own self-interested preferences?

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Evening Homily for Second Advent

This is my prayer, that your love may increase more and more, in knowledge and every kind of perception. –Philippians 1:9

These were St. Paul’s words to the Christians in Philippi, when he wrote to them from prison.

Moses with his "horns"
The church in Philippi was the first that St. Paul founded in Europe. It was the community that was most dear to him. The purpose of his letter was to beg the Philippians to comfort him by persevering in faith and love.

Let’s pay careful attention to what the Apostle wrote: “This is my prayer…that you may increase in knowledge and every kind of perception.”

St. Paul did not write to the Philippians to correct them. They had not abandoned the true faith, nor gotten confused, nor slipped back into paganism or into Judaism. The Philippians were on the right track, and St. Paul rejoiced in it.

But he prayed that they might increase in knowledge and discernment. A few moments ago, we made a similar prayer for ourselves. At the beginning of Mass, we prayed: “Father, let us share the wisdom of Christ.” Let us share the wisdom of Christ.

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