The Big Picture of Christianity is the Paradigm of Escape.
The Big Picture
The exodus of the Jews is a powerful allegory that the genius of God embedded into the history of humanity to inform us about our place in the Big Picture of life here on earth. The Jews made their escape through the hostile desert. So, too, Christians. We are making our escape through the Valley of Tears. The Valley of Tears is our hostile desert.
Like foolish children, Adam and Eve ran away from their home in the garden of Eden with God and his Holy Family . Happiness was forsaken for misery. Our parents took us with them into the "anti-garden" that is called the Valley of Tears . The "anti-garden" is as foul as Eden was fair - as hostile as Eden was hospitable. Without God and his Holy Family in the Valley of Tears, we vainly try to grab the golden ring of godhood , cutting each others throats to attain that which is unattainable by dint our own efforts.
In the "anti-garden", the serpent, the antichrist , diabolically planted a fell forest of merciless crosses whose sharp teeth chew us up into bits and pieces. Moreover, to make matters worse, over the Valley of Tears hangs the shadow of death , the worst and the last of our crosses . There is no shortcut by which we can avoid the Valley of Tears. It is not a Maginot Line that we can go around. There is no bridge over it or tunnel under it. We must pass through it. As meat passes through a grinder, we pass through it. As grist passes through a mill, we pass through it. No exceptions.
Is there a best way to pass through the gauntlet of crosses whose sharp fangs bristle at us in the Valley of Tears? Does a sanctuary exist in which we can take refuge?
We have a choice.
We can pass through the Valley of Tears alone on our own without God's help. We can fend for ourselves. We can try to blaze our own trail. There is a slim possibility that we will stumble through our ordeal in the Valley of Tears and out the other side. Cross your fingers. We may get lucky. The worst and final cross, death, however, may be an insurmountable problem for us to overcome. But, as was said, we may get lucky.
Or we can rely on a solution more certain than luck.
We can pass through it with God's help , our hands in his hands like trusting children . God did not abandon us in the Valley of Tears . Through the Valley of Tears from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and his Holy Family in the promised land, God built an escape route , defined the escape route with holy places, made a map of them, established a Church, entrusted the map to the Church and gave the Church the job of serving the new exodus as the new Moses. The Church has the map and knows the way .
The job of the Church is to facilitate the escape not to frustrate it, filter it or foul it up . "No man left behind" is the motto of the escape. "Neither saint nor sinner ." The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect . At the holy places that define the escape route, God transforms us. The Church does not transform us. We do not transform ourselves. Only God transforms us. God and God alone is the agent of transformation. And transformation only takes place at the holy places that define the escape route. At the holy places, we can find happiness with God and his Holy Family here on earth. Therefore, make haste to the holy places. Make haste! At the holy places, acknowledge that you are in the presence of God and listen. Sit at his feet. Rest your head on his bosom . Keep God company.
"What a paradise it is for a soul when the heart knows itself to be so loved by God." (St. Faustina - Notebook VI, 1756).
The War is a War over Love
The enemies of God are trying to extinguish love. Euthanasia, infanticide, abortion etc are wrong not because they are offenses against life. They are wrong because they are offenses against love. It is time for the Church to acknowledge the real enemy and deal with it. It is time for the Church to once again to pick up the Cross of Christ - the apotheosis of love. It is frightening to live in a land without love. We do not stand a chance in navigating our way through the Valley of Tears when our neighbors lack love in their hearts.
The Enemies of God are Trying to Extinguish Love
Jealous of God's love for us, the serpent used us as the sharp stake to poke a hole in God's most Sacred Heart to drain it of his love for us. Surely, the serpent reasoned, if the children of Adam and Eve tortured and killed the Son of God while he was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and their guest upon the earth, this egregious insult to the sublimity of divinity would extinguish the bonfire of love that burns for them in the heart of God! But, it did not. The evil we did to him did not extinguish the bonfire of love that burns for us in his most Sacred Heart or reduce its intensity by even the slightest degree. His love for us survived the evil we did to him. The serpent's failure is apocalyptic. It reveals that God's love for us is immutable - intransigent - indestructible.
We can occupy either of two levels in life: 1) the level of divinity where our hearts are filled to the brim with love or 2) the level of the most miserable and hideous of loveless beasts. We can rise from the bottom level to the top or fall from the top level to the bottom. God wants us to live with him on the top level as we pass through the Valley of Tears. The serpent wants to knock us off the top level down to the bottom level. The serpent wants to reduce us. God wants to elevate us. This is what life is all about. This is the struggle of life.