Rescue

Our Gag Reflex

For more than two thousand years, the Church has explored the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God. Its experience has given it great confidence - and should inspire confidence in us as well - that it knows a thing or two about God. The Church has knowledge to share with us. However, some in the Church view its knowledge as doctrine to ram down our throats. Beware. Ramming doctrine down our throats against our wills by fiat triggers our gag reflex. We regurgitate such doctrine. We are ready to be persuaded by reason. We are wary of being overcome by force. We expect that the legs of the doctrine that the Church is presenting to us are more than mere authority. Authority is the weakest of bases. We tend to reject a conclusion that has no legs. We expect a solid basis to support the conclusions that the Church wants us to reach. This is just the way rational people are. Early on in the history of mankind, we learned that our faculty of obedience is broken. The debacle of Adam and Eve showed us that it is defective. However, our faculty of rationality works. That is why God built thier plan to rescue us from godlessness around our faculty of rationality and not around our faculty of obedience. God is not stupid. He does not risk our salvation on our broken faculty of obedience. He is smarter than that. Our faculty of rationality tells us to flee the sourness of godlessness and seek the sweetness of paradise. God's rescue plan is simple carrot and stick psychology. There is a current of salvation. It is generated by two engines. The sourness of godlessness pushes us to its exit. The sweetness of paradise pulls us to its entrance. There is a potential difference between the sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise. All that was needed to get the current to flow was the placement of a conductor between them. Jesus is the conductor. He is the bridge between the sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise. He is the way, etc. Through His bloody wounds, the new exodus is making its escape led / served by the new Moses, the Church, through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. 

Safari

Christianity is not reading about a safari. Christianity is going on safari.

In Christianity, there is a delicate balance between thinking about God and seeking God. We do not become Christians head first. We become Christians feet first. The head follows the feet. Why? We don't make a Christian. Only God makes a Christian.

Like foolish children, Adam and Eve ran away from home with God in paradise and took us with them into godlessness. Godlessness is not a nice place. To rescue us from godlessness, God established an escape route, defined it with holy places, made a map of them and entrusted the map to the Church. At a holy place, a close encounter with the living God takes place. During a close encounter with the living God, a connection is made between earth and heaven. Through the connection, the light of paradise illuminates the darkness of godlessness. No one walks away from a close encounter with the living God unchanged. No one walks away from a close encounter with the living God empty handed. A new exodus is taking place and is now in progress on the escape route through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in paradise. Leading the new exodus is the new Moses, the Church.

The escape from godlessness to God is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect (Matthew 23:13)  (Matthew 23:24)  (Matthew 6:33).

The job of the Church is to be grease for the wheels of the escape not an obstacle in its way. The job of the Church is to facilitate the escape not to filter it. The job of the Church is not to throw the children of Adam and Eve out of the life boats and into the shark infested waters of godlessness whose thinking is not consubstantial with the official thinking of the Catholic Church.  The job of the Church is to fill the life boats with the children of Adam and Eve regardless of the status of their thinking and get them to safety - even the agnostics and atheists.

Only by moving from holy place to holy place that define the escape route can you be sure that you are heading in the right direction. The movement of the new exodus is the needle of the compass that always points in the direction of God.

Examples of the holy places upon the earth at which close encounters with the living God take place are the Mass, Confession, the other sacraments, works of charity, acts of kindness, prayer especially the rosary, Eucharistic adoration, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, fasting, the gathering of two or more together in God's name, bible study, suffering, the hour of death, etc.

Seeking God and experiencing close encounters with them at the holy places defines a Christian. Seeking God and experiencing close encounters with them at the holy places is what Christians do. Christianity is more experiential than intellectual. We are Christians in the doing more so than in the thinking. We are Christians with our feet more so than with our heads. We become Christians feet first not head first. Christianity is a religion that is done more than thought. 

The reason that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples rather than their heads is because the feet are more important than the heads (John 13:1-17).