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by Matthew Kelly
Your God is Too Boring
by Father Bob Sherry
New beginnings and second chances are God’s specialty. That’s a thing of beauty when you really pause to think about it.
Every day I fall short in so many ways of the person I know I am capable of being. Each year I look back and I see that I have made mistakes, and often it is not because I don’t know what I should have done, but because I do not have the present moment awareness to live the truth I know. That’s wisdom. Wisdom is not the massive acquirement of knowledge. Wisdom is truth lived.
When we don’t live the truth that we already know, our lives become dysfunctional, our minds become cloudy, and our hearts become heavy.
What area of your life do you need a fresh start in this year? Do you need a second chance? A fresh beginning? Then I suggest you seek, knock, and ask. Ask God for your second chance, fresh start, new beginning. Ask over and over again. Persistently and consistently. Ask every day this year for a very specific new beginning. That’s right: Ask every day.
2014 was another great year for Dynamic Catholic and we are excited to serve you powerfully in 2015 in all the ways you have become accustomed to, and in a whole bunch of new and exciting ways too.
Make it a great year!
The point, and the fundamental difference between Christians and the rest of the world, is that while we certainly couldn’t dream of understanding God in his fullness, we can know many things about who he is and how he acts—not because we are really smart, but because he has in fact revealed himself to us.
— From “Your God is Too Boring” by Jon Leonetti
God is an extremely difficult topic for conversation. But this shouldn't surprise us, right? I mean, if God is literally bigger, better, and more awesome than anything else—that is, if God is so big an idea that we can't hold it all in our heads—then he can't come easy. In fact, it would make more sense for us not to fully understand God than to fully understand him. Follow me here?
This is precisely what the Catholic Church and the genius minds born from her womb have been tirelessly trying to relay to the world for ages.
You can see now why I roll my eyes when some people today (again, even well-intentioned Christians) present God to the world as some giant Santa Claus waiting to grant us everything on our list or as an aspirin waiting to take the pain away. It's so much deeper than that!
Now, you may be thinking, "OK, so if God is so far beyond my wildest imagination that I can't even come close to understanding who he is in his entirety, what's the point?"
I'm so glad you asked.
The point, and the fundamental difference between Christians and the rest of the world, is that while we certainly couldn't dream of understanding God in his fullness, we can know many things about who he is and how he acts—not because we are really smart, but because he has in fact revealed himself to us. And it's not in some arbitrary, lightning-bolt-while-hearing-strange-voices way. God has revealed himself to the nations as a living person: Jesus Christ.
You and I can know God. It's what the entire story of Christianity is all about. All the distinctions, even the incredibly minute and seemingly silly ones, all the doctrines and disciplines of the faith point to Jesus.
Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive,” and he was right again. Last month I asked you to send in how you try to make Christmas a religious event rather than caught up in consumerism and materialism. You sent in many suggestions, but here are a few:
-Keep Christmas decorations up for the full 12 days of Christmas
-Include religious items so when kids think of “Aunt Julia” they will associate her with Jesus and the Church
-Hold an Advent scavenger hunt with clues tied to Jesus, his birth, and other religious trivia with religious themed gifts for each
-Encourage compassion for the less fortunate, for example funding animals for poor families in Peru
-Donate money for materials to build a house that can be purchased by a family in Peru
-Draw names so everyone only buys presents for one person
-Buy presents only for the children
-Adopt a family through your parish
-Give only spiritually enriching gifts such as spiritual books or CDs
-Buy presents through the year at better prices and pray for those people all during the year
Thank you for these suggestions. Store them for next year.
For February, in honor of Groundhog Day (the movie), what action makes you a better person because you repeat it every day?
A blessed New Year to you too.
I am what they call a “Cradle Catholic.” I was born and raised Catholic, received all of the Sacraments, married a Catholic, and raised my children Catholic. Unfortunately, I never really understood our wonderful Church.
In December of 2012, my mother-in-law gave me a copy of Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Catholicism, and it changed my life.
This book had so many of the answers I didn’t have when my non-Catholic friends would ask, “Why do you pray to Mary?” or “Why do you have to confess your sins to a human?”
I learned so much about my faith that after 35 years, I couldn’t wait to go back to Reconciliation. I now look FORWARD to reading the daily gospel and reflections. The Mass, especially the Holy Eucharist, has taken on a whole new meaning for me.
I have shared it with my family, and many have come back after several years of not attending Mass regularly or going to confession. There is no better feeling then seeing God’s peace in someone’s eyes.
It’s also a great book for young parents as they teach their children the richness of the Catholic faith.
Please get this book. It’s an easy read, and if you are like my daughter, brother and me, you won’t be able to put it down.
We are all called to evangelize, but until I knew the answers myself, I could not teach others. It is up to us to spread the word of God, because we ARE his disciples. I’m praying that we light a fire in the Church that will light the way for all.
When I was a little girl I always wondered why my grandmother would take the time to go to a quiet place to pray each day, and when she was older go to Mass every morning. I almost felt sorry for her! I now know why she did it, because she wanted to.
God Bless you, I hope you get a copy, read it, and share it with those you love.
Want to share your story? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Making time for each other isn’t that difficult if you think about how to anchor the time around already established routines at home.
Life is short, and the holidays fly by. Don’t waste this time texting your friends about how crazy your family is making you (even if it’s true). Do your best to be present to them, seek to understand and to love.
Waking up early is a war. It is a battle against the self. You are your enemy. And there is only one way to win the war: Discipline.
When you choose to be the-best-version-of-yourself, when you exercise virtue and strength of character, you impact the world more than you will ever know.