Possible things

My confessor recommended to me that I meditate on the passion so that I can come to a greater understanding of God’s love.  His instructions were to simply read a passage from the Gospel, and quietly listen for what God has to say.  Sounds simple enough.

Yesterday I was reading the 14th chapter of Mark, when Jesus is in Gethsemani.  My eyes fell upon these words, “And he saith: Abba, Father, if all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

I stopped.  Something didn’t seem right.

So I read them again, this time more carefully.

And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.

What happened?  The first time, my brain added two letters before the word all: “if.”  I added a condition to what Jesus said.  Certainly our Lord knows that all things are possible.  I’m the one who introduced doubt, my doubt.

It made me wonder: how much of my prayer life has been conditional?  Have I been praying, “If you can do this God…” rather than “If you will do this God…” or simply, “Thy will be done”?

Jesus probably prayed more than these words.  He was there for an hour.  But the evangelist records only this one bit.  Jesus affirms the power of God.  He makes His request.  Then He surrenders to His Father.

Here we have the first three steps: we admit that we are powerless over sex addiction and that only God can restore us to sanity, we come before God with our needs, humbly and sorrowfully; and we surrender our lives to Him.

Remember the passion of our Lord when working the steps.  Remember them year round, not just during Lent.  Find an hour every day to enter the garden and pray with Him.

 

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“My soul is like a house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it.  It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it.  It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide.  But who is to rid it of these things?  There is no one but you.”

– Saint Augustine

Faith and Reason

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St. Thomas Aquinas

I recently listened to the Faith and Reason audio lecture series by Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College, under whom I had the privilege of studying. Kreeft has written dozens of books, including Catholic Christianity, Back to Virtue, and Christianity for Modern Pagans. His books are readable, and I recommend them for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of Catholic philosophy, theology, and methodology.

This series is a bit more dense than his books typically are, but you do not need to be a philosophy student to grasp the concepts. If you struggle with the concept of God, if Steps 2 and 3 make you uncomfortable, if you don’t understand how faith, reason, and science fit together; or maybe you describe yourself as “atheist/agnostic Catholic,” I recommend you read one of Kreeft’s books or listen to this series. The series is available on Audible for 1 credit. If you don’t have an Audible membership, you can download the book for free as part of your 30-day trial.

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