Monday, March 27, 2006

Christianity is a most wonderful thing

It is amazing to me that Christianity is the most wonderful thing that has ever come to us and yet it seems to have touched the lives of most people very little.

Isn't that the way it is all through the Bible? It seems to me that that is part of the message. Maybe that's the meaning of "Many are called, but few are chosen." It isn't that people are consciously bad. Maybe they respond on one level but just do not follow through. Scripture teaches us basic things, God's thoughts about human beings. We have to remember that no one does everything right. We are all sinners. God speaks and we do not listen. On the other hand, the mercy of God is constant. It cannot be overcome. God's promises are absolute. Being Christian doesn't mean "being on the right side." A Christian does not always know where justice lies, does not always see clearly. But the Christian is aware that, while in the human being there is falsity and infidelity, in the mercy of God there is always absolute fidelity. So we reject no one, but still try to dissociate ourselves from anything that is going to hurt other people. Every Christian has to stand up for the truth that God's mercy is without repentance. God never takes back mercy. We are in a world where many people are in despair. That's where God is really needed. Our Christian witness of mercy is not, after all credible to a lot of people, because it's not very profound. The renewal of the whole Church hinges on this. And not just in ideological terms. We also have to dig in and really help those in trouble.

Thomas Merton, The Springs of Contemplation, 37