Just wanted to share this posting from a blog I follow:
If Christianity appears as merely a collection of laws and prohibitions, a series of demands and fulfillments as a means to get to heaven, then no wonder it has little appeal to the modern mind. People are drawn to love, not its theology; that is, they are drawn to the face of love. Where do people find it today? Because surely they are looking. Yes, they are clamoring to their internet social networks, video websites, and instant messaging devices, looking to be noticed, remembered, and loved. Can the longing for love be fully realized through a video screen? No. In fact, never have the means of communication been so widely available, and yet never has modern man been so lonely! He is looking for love and more often than not cannot find it!
Do we Christians recognize this? Or are we too busy forwarding nice stories through our email? Are we too concerned with reading the news headlines to see how close the world is to falling off the precipice, or are we running to its edge to become the face of love to those who are ready to jump off it? Are we transfixed with the signs of the times, with ourselves, or are we becoming a sign of the times—the sign and sacrament of Love?
. . .]
It is not enough for us to talk about the Gospel; our family and friends must see it in us. They must see the face of love, otherwise, our “preaching,” our fervent devotional prayer, eloquent apologetics, scriptural quotations, etc…. risk becoming sterile, and possibly serve to diminish and even discredit what we preach.
. . .]
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God wants to raise you to a new life, a new creation, in which the true self, created in the image of God, becomes a reality. Not just a spiritual, mystical reality, but a living, breathing, visible reality—one with a face that the world can see. In this sense, you and I are to become alter Christus, “another Christ.” We become for Him the face that others are thirsting for. And when they find Him in us, we can point toward the source of living water.
LIVING THE GOSPEL
As you meet with family and friends over these final feast days of the Christmas Octave, let them see your love more than hear it. Let them see your service, your patience, your docility; let them not only hear your words of forgiveness but see it in your mannerisms, your facial expressions, and your genuine interest in them. Listen, don’t just speak. Let others see your eagerness to put them first, their desires, their wishes, even when contrary to your own. Let the martyrdom of your self-love be evident to all, not so much by what you say, but by what you do.
Then your words will be the echo of love, rather than the trumpet of ego. Then you will begin to heal the terrible loneliness in your brother when he begins to hear that echo too.
Incarnate love, as Christ became incarnate in the flesh. Give love a skin. Become the face of Christ.
**My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it. **—St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Liturgy of the Hours Vol. 1, p.1256
Happy New Year, everyone. May God richly bless you all in the year to come.