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Lent Day 36

It’s easy to get caught up in believing the lie that attending church on Sunday and a few classes or small groups along the way is enough.  Maybe we even tune into the Christian radio from time to time or say or prayers before meals.  These things, and many others, easily can fall into the category of knowing about God instead of knowing God.

Jesus made a number of very profound statements in his last week on this earth.  Just after his triumphal entry intro Jerusalem, he predicted his death once again.  As part of his discourse he proclaimed, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25) The person, besides Jesus, that understood this way of thinking the most was Paul.  This man got it!  “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8).

So how do we get to that place where we can literally count everything else as a distant second to Jesus?  When I lived in Texas a friend of mine and I would go to a Catholic retreat center each year for reflection.  Our spiritual mentor once told us, “The goal is to be passionately indifferent about all things except Jesus.”  Translation: It’s ok for us to be passionate about certain things, but our passion should seem like indifference compared to our connection with Jesus.

Lie: If we do all of the “right” Christian things we will be ok

Truth: Real life comes through knowing God

“ I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  (Phil 3:8)

1 reply on “Lent Day 36”

Shawn,

Thanks for the reflections; short, deep and rich. I felt the need to comment on this post as I was just reading a section of a book about St. Ignatius and his form of spirituality. In it he writes, “Man [i assume he also meant women] is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our LOrd, and by this means to save his soul.” I have a few questions about the ‘save his soul’ part, but I get the gist. This statement echoes the traditional reformed teaching that the chief end of humanity is to ‘glorify God and enjoy him forever.” So, good so far. Ignatius then goes on to write, “Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created thins, in so far as it is left to the choice of our free will and is not forbidden.” Its this word ‘indifferent’ that gets me. There is a part of me that is drawn to the Ignatian spirituality and its quest for perfection, but I’m not so sure about this path of indifference. I get what your saying about things paling in comparisson to our love for Christ, but doesn’t this set up a false choice between loving God or loving our neighbors; loving God or loving God’s creation, etc. The way I read Jesus two fold command is that they are connected, we love God by loving our neighbors and visa versa. In loving our neighbors, especially the sick, imprisoned, hungry, naked, etc. we come to encounter Christ. In loving my kids, I come to encounter Christ. In loving my wife, I come to encounter Christ. So, if this is the case, then how can I be indifferent to them?

This is what troubles me about this word. As our friend BB would end i say, “your thoughts.’

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