Monday, October 1, 2012

If Thy (insert here) Causes Thee to Sin........

Whenever my wife thinks I'm spending too much time in Catholic forums, or answering facebook posts or engaging others on twitter about an array of topics regarding faith and morals, she simply says, "George Vogt, you can't save the world."

I know this to be true. Souls are saved only by Jesus, and although He does use us to cooperate with His Grace in saving others, what Kendra is really saying is, "You can't get through to everyone. Don't take it so personal."

In the Gospel from yesterdays readings at Mass, we hear Jesus say, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off." In his homily, our priest talked about removing the things from our lives that are hindering us from conforming our lives to Christ and entering into a deeper relationship with God. He mentioned that many of the things we do, while not in and of themselves are bad, if misused or abused could be part of those hindrances.

While this message was not a new one for me, I can always use a little reminder or two you know. In a way, his message to me was the same as Kendra's. I have learned that no matter what you say or do, some people are just too stubborn to even consider changing their minds about some things.

Whenever I find myself frustrated by what I perceive to be close-mindedness towards God from others, I try to remind myself of the rich man who walked away from Jesus because the message was too hard. Jesus never ran after him. He let him go.

It's not always easy for me to let a stranger go like that. I have to remind myself that it's God's message, my job to deliver it, and the other's choice to receive or reject it. This is multiplied for me with friends and family. My control issues are another story though.

But this leads me to another point made by our priest yesterday. Sometimes there are people in our lives who just have to be cut off. What!? His point, and he's right, is that sometimes we have the right intentions and think that we are helping certain people. We think that if we just keep at it, we will have an impact upon their lives that leads them to God, or to a deeper relationship with Him. All the while though, our relationships with certain people may actually be more damaging to us than rewarding to them.

Perhaps it is time to really consider what relationships bear fruit, and which relationships need to be cut off.

Disclaimer: This post is not directed towards any particular individual nor group of individuals. The reader assumes all risks associated when contemplating this message. 

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