March 31, 2019

Friends,

On the weekend of March 16/17, I preached about the obsession that many Catholics have with making promises to God and how unhealthy that can be for our spiritual lives. I mentioned that our relationship with God is not built on the promises we make to God but on a covenant (life long commitment) God makes with us.

My understanding of God has evolved as I have matured. I gave some serious thought to the promises I now believe God makes with each one of us and I’d like to share them with you. Some of these covenants may be contrary to what I learned about God as a child but they are my beliefs today. They are not listed in order of importance because in my mind they are equal.

  1.  I love you unconditionally –you can’t earn that love or lose that love.
  2. I accompany each of you on your life journey and are aware of the pain and joy in your life. I will always share your pain and celebrate your joy.
  3. There is no limit to my forgiveness. If you are open to the need to transform your life, you will experience and understand that forgiveness.
  4. You live in my presence now and you will live in my presence after you die.
  5. I will never bring about the destruction of the world. If tragedy happens, life will go on.
  6. No organized religion has captured me. I will continue to reveal myself to the world. Your knowledge of me will never be complete.
  7. Evil has nothing to do with my plans. It is a part of life that offers us choices. Good will always outlast evil in the world.
  8. I give you all of creation to accompany you in this life. Creation is as sacred to me as your life is. You are to care for each other. Creation is here to enhance your life and you are the stewards of creation.
  9. You will know if a religion is being true to my covenant if it unites humanity; if it is divisive, it does not know me.
  10. The poor, the disadvantaged and those with the least opportunities among you are sacred to me, and your response to their story is indicative of how well you know me.

I believe God speaks to each of us in our heart, soul, conscience, and spirit. That relationship and “conversation” challenges us to expand our capacity of God. If you do not believe God speaks to you, you will continue to rely on other people to tell you who God is, and not trust your own experience if it conflicts with what you were taught.

It can come down to this:  When you are presented with two different understandings of God, which do you listen to? The one that reinforced what you heard as a child or the one that expands your concept of God as an adult?

To conclude: I’m reading a book by Richard Rohr titled "The Universal Christ" and I came across this profound statement: “Remember, the only thing that separates you from God is the thought that you are separated from God.”

Enjoy Life!
Father Coyne

 

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