A Hedge

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Catholic Action, Pope Michael, Sanctification | 0 comments

Dear friends,
Father Francis Dominic wrote another very good devotion, which we should all take to heart. We will follow with Our own thoughts in a few days:
The Lord says, “And I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favour of the land, that I might not destroy it: and I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30).
God is looking for men and women today, who will stand in the gap for the Church – selfless people, who are not taken up with just their own needs, but who are concerned about God’s work.
Many believers think that sanctification means just the refinement of their personal conduct and behaviour. But true sanctification makes a person selfless like God – or in other words, like Jesus.
No-one really knew what God was like until Jesus came to earth, and explained Him (John.1:18). And what do we learn of the nature of God, when we look at Jesus? We see that the Divine nature is one that is willing to give up everything, and to be inconvenienced to any extent, if as a result, sinners can be saved from their sin and brought back to God.
Jesus did not come down from heaven because He wanted to gain something for Himself. No. He came to earth totally for the benefit of others. He lived for others. He fasted and prayed and gave Himself – all so that others might partake of God’s salvation. It is this spirit that is so rare to find even among the leaders in the church today. Although many speak of partaking of God’s nature, very few actually partake of this selfless love for others.
Many are willing to deny themselves and take up the cross if that will bring them some benefit – perhaps some spiritual benefit such as a place in the Bride of Christ, but still something for themselves. But if we were to ask ourselves, “what have we denied ourselves purely for the benefit of others,?” we may discover that the answer is, ‘Almost nothing’.
There are many in our midst who despise the ideal of their child giving their life totally to Christ and His Church as a Nun, Monk, or Priest. But before you criticise them, it may be good to ask yourself whether YOU would be willing to resign your job in order to become a missionary in a rural area of the world. It is easy to despise others who don’t have as much light as we have. But despite all the light that we have received, we may still be loving our comforts and unwilling to give up anything costly for the Lord.
Jesus gave up His place in heaven in order to come and live on this earth for 33-1/2 years, without any of the comforts of modern civilization – only so that others might hear the gospel and be saved. He also resigned His job as a carpenter, so that He might devote all His time fully to the vocation of proclaiming the gospel to others.
It is this Spirit of Christ that has urged missionaries through the years, to suffer hardship and loss, so as to take the gospel to heathen lands, where the Name of Jesus had never been heard, to bring others to Christ. Those on the other hand, who travel and stay in 5-star comfort these days, and preach the gospel, are all tourists, by comparison.
It is good for us to read the biographies of saintly missionaries like Adrian of Dalmatia, or St. Pauls fellow worker Saint Urban who gave up everything for the Lord, so that we too can be challenged by their sacrifice and their devotion to the Lord. A holiness that does not lead to a sacrificial life is a deception – for true holiness is not just being free from sin, but being free from Self-love too.
The fire of God does not fall on many today, because they have not placed everything on the altar. They are willing to give up everything for the Lord, except their jobs and their comforts. If anything on this earth is still valuable and precious to you, then you are not a disciple of Jesus.
+Michael pp

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