Thursday, February 4, 2010

Christ, the Center of Our Lives

There is a specifically Catholic way of understanding human history. First, history is not a circular reality. It does not repeat itself over and over again. Neither will it reset itself at some given time. History is a linear reality. It has a definitive beginning and a definitive end. As a linear reality, it has a central point. Think of a large wooden beam resting on a fulcrum. It has a beginning at one side of the beam, and an ending at the other side. In order for it to balance, the fulcrum must be at the central point of the beam. For human history, its beginning is when God created all that exists. And it does have an end, a moment known to God alone.

What, then, is the central point of human history? It is the holy life, teachings, sufferings, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the divine fulcrum upon which human history must rest, must find its reference point.

"The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

The great drama of human history needs truth, it hungers for truth, it must find its balance on truth. Without truth, this drama is chaotic, dark, and fearful - it loses its balance. One of the worst ideas that pervaded the minds of men and women in the twentieth century was the false notion that there is no such thing as truth; that everything is relative, that nothing is absolute. Really, this was simply a masked rejection of truth altogether. According to this illusion, each individual can create his own religion, his own morality. Something is wrong only if someone - or a majority - believes it is wrong. Many people believed that this was the highest expression of freedom and progress. But what did it accomplish? We only have to look at the twentieth century: From the godless ideologies of Nazism and Communism, to weapons that eliminate and cripple entire populations; from the perverted belief that terrorism can bring justice, to the anti-human philosophy which declares that human life can be defined and treated as inconvenient and unwanted, to the ever increasing drama of gang violence and school shootings which, it must be said, is born of the deadly mentality which suggests that human life is not a gift to be cherished, and that human beings do not possess a God-given sanctity and right to exist. All of these evils, which can trace their origin to previous times, enjoyed tremendous and unfettered success in the twentieth century and are already seeking to dominate the twenty-first century. It is clear that the century of human progress was, in fact, the century of the greatest threats to the human family. And all this because many people refused to love truth. It was as if the wooden beam of human history decided to ignore the fulcrum of truth. Any attempt to balance the beam became futile.

Our lives also are linear realities. Their definitive beginning was when God created us at the first moment of conception. Their definitive end in this world is death - the time and manner of which is already known to God. We, too, must have a central point and it must be the Lord Jesus Christ. Let this be clearly understood: we must love God's truth. That is, we must order everything in our lives around His truth. If we do not, our lives will lose their balance. They will become chaotic and this chaos will have a profound effect on us. One of its most profound effects will be on the relationships we have with others - relationships such as marriage, family, and friends. Without truth, including moral truth, these relationships are wounded and can even be ruined.

Dear brothers and sisters, since Christ must be the center of our lives, it becomes necessary for us to first know Him. By the plan of His eternal wisdom, He has entrusted the Catholic Church with the mission of teaching the fullness of truth. Learn the teachings of the Catholic Church. A very good book to have is the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here you will find a concise presentation of the Catholic Faith which comes to us from the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

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