A funny thing happened this morning


#1

Before I tell you about my unusual but very uplifting spiritual experience this morning, a little background is required.

For many weeks I have been reflecting intensely on one of Jesus’ teachings; namely that we should be perfect just as our Father in heaven is perfect. Now, I’ve thought recently about a lot of other things too, including other commandments and teachings, but it’s true to say that this teaching has been up there above the others.

Why? Because we know that no-one who is human is perfect. However, we do know that Jesus was the only human to live without sin. When He was alive, was He perfect though? Well, in Luke 18:19, Jesus clearly says “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except for God alone”.

So, how exactly do we become perfect? Now, I have a confession to make here which will make many Catholics uncomfortable, that is that I am inclined to agree that the theory of reincarnation makes a lot of sense to me. Do I believe in it? Not necessarily; but it does make a lot of sense. One of the aspects I am most drawn to is the idea of karmic debt and the ability for the soul to be purified over many incarnations, as well as gaining a wide experience of life. BUT, the problem I have with this theory is, no matter how many incarnations one has, I still don’t see how one becomes perfect. Only if a soul becomes One with God, can it be described as perfect.

Anyway, back to the story of my experience this morning. I woke up much much earlier than I would normally do and could not go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. I looked across the bed at my wife’s alarm clock to see what time it is: it was 5.48AM; for some reason I cannot explain, I felt an overwhelming urge to go online at that very minute and tap the time into the Google toolbar and see what came up.

Now, though I do read the bible a lot, I am absolutely not someone who can remember chapter references. However, for no particular reason, I had a vague hunch the 5:48 might be a reference to Matthews gospel.

When I typed 5:48 on the keyboard and pressed enter, the first or second Google result was the following:

"Matthew 5:48 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

This is certainly not the first time I have had this sort of experience; I truly believe this happened for a reason and thank God it did. But, again, the question remains: how does one become perfect in this life?


#2

You don’t. :wink:

As you said yourself, no one is perfect, and no one can become perfect. I believe that verse is to encourage us to strive throughout our lives to be perfect like God, even though He knows it is impossible for us to do so. Just because we can’t achieve it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… even the greatest of saints weren’t perfect, but they sure tried to be. God knows our hearts and souls and is pleased when we try to be like Him.

As to your comments on reincarnation: you really can’t reconcile them with Catholic teaching, so if you’re confused or really entertaining beliefs like that, maybe you should speak with your priest. Scripture and teaching are clear that we have one life and that our souls will either be brought to the glory of heaven or sent to the misery of hell (and of course, purgatory is there for some too). I’m not the best apologist, but I’m sure someone else can offer resources if you want/need them.

God bless you in your striving for perfection – may we all strive for it too! :slight_smile:


#3

Hebrews 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”


#4

Thank you for your replies; my post wasn’t really about reincarnation, more about the fact of my experience.

The last thing I want to do is to get into a debate about dogma; I find Christ’s love for us a more uplifting topic to discuss.


#5

I understood what you meant, but your thought of reincarnation might someday can lead you to that direction. A New Age friend of mine has that thought and she was a Catholic.


#6

Thank you, Water. I certainly do not dismiss it as a possibility, however. Two verses (out of many) from the gospel leave this possibility open. Again, not intending to start a debate about reincarnation, just saying that this particular believer prefers to read Jesus’ own words and be guided by the Spirit.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1-2, NIV

The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13, NIV


#7

I hope this helps:
catholic.com/thisrock/1991/9101chap.asp
it does talk about the verse that you quoted.


#8

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