Before I take my leave, I thought I’d go back through some things I’ve shared with you over the years. I can’t take credit for most of them!
- For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. Let God be God.
- Forgiveness means giving up all hope of having a better past.
- Forgiveness brings you freedom – it means the other person no longer controls your thoughts and feelings.
- Forgiveness is something you can do on your own; reconciliation requires a partner.
- When you forgive someone who’s hurt you, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have to earn your trust again.
- You are not your thoughts. Or emotions. Or desires. They are like clouds passing through the sky.
- Emotions give us information. Our reason evaluates it, then directs our will. Don’t skip the middle step!
- Everybody – even the most ardent atheist – worships something: You worship whatever you’re willing to sacrifice everything else in your life for.
- If you’re not willing to sacrifice anything, it’s not that you worship nothing, it’s that you worship nothingness.
- God is not another “being” like us, just bigger and more powerful. Rather, He is Being itself. “I am who am” (Exodus 3:14). To know God is to know reality.
- Since we’re created in the image of the Trinity, 3 persons in relation, we are created for relationship, not autonomy.
- We’re very good at figuring out how to get what we want. We’re not very good in figuring out why we want it. Question your motivations.
- It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets credit for it.
- Often, we don’t see other people as they are – we see them as we are. Or: “To the jaundiced eye, all things look yellow.”
- We can look at others as (a) obstacles to our desires, (b) instruments to attain our desires, or (c) persons.
- The proper response to God’s gifts is thanksgiving, the best antidote to pride and envy.
- And be sure to thank the people who have made a difference in your life.
- Sacraments aren’t magic; they’re promises of a Presence.
- By praying the Rosary, you walk with Mary through the events of our redemption.
- When asked, “What does the Mass have to do with real life?” the response is simply that the Mass is real life – joining ourselves to Christ in His gift of Himself to God for the salvation of the world. That’s what our entire life is meant to be.
- “Our [American] Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” [John Adams]
- We can’t be a self-governing nation if we don’t know how to govern ourselves as individuals.
- Secular freedom is freedom from – from external restraints, from moral absolutes, from objective truth, from lasting commitment. Christian freedom is freedom for – for love, for service, for the last measure of devotion. We are saved to serve.
- “It’s not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, it’s been found difficult and left untried.” [G.K. Chesterton]
- Whatever suffering you experience, or trials you undergo, are opportunities to grow in love. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
- Christians don’t hate the body – God made it, and He even took one for Himself!
- Love and desire are not the same thing.
- Love is much more than a feeling – it’s an act of the will, a choice.
- Love is never earned. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you – He already does. We shouldn’t try to make others earn our love either.
- Everything is gift. Everything is a grace.
- You are beloved.
While this is my last “official” weekend at Holy Family, I won’t actually be departing for Washington, DC, until the beginning of August. After my return from pilgrimage to Scotland and Ireland on July 7th, I’ll be celebrating Mass with you from time to time. I will also be back for 3 weddings in October, November, and December. In the meantime, I can be reached at email@example.com.
As I’ve been cleaning off my shelves in preparation for my move, I’ve found a number of books (and a few DVDs) that I would like to donate to the parish. They will form the core of a new Holy Family “library” in Room 211 of the Parish Life Center. It will be on the honor system.
I will miss you all terribly. Please pray for me, as I do for you. God bless you!