Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Why I am a wacky funster for Christ

In a torrential email exchange with a friend, the question (finally) arose of how I could be so, well, whimsical and yet be all pious and orthodox 'n' stuff. This took me aback, for well over a nanosecond, until it dawned on me God's message is a joyful one.

So...why should I (or any other believer in God's redemptive love) be dour about this joy? That sounds bizarre and counterintuitive. The Chief Pagan Officer at Pagans Inc. could very well ask "Gee, why do you look like your parakeet contracted ebola if your God has such good news?" before he turned his back on whomever he was addressing to resume reading marmot entrails to see when he should start fermenting his mead or sack Constantinople or whatever it is that pagans do.

We have good news from God.

Or, to put it another way, if we* were terminally sick and dying and somehow we found (and took) the Magic Bullet Antidote...would we be quiet about our cure? Would we be nonchalant? Nooooo, we'd be laughing and telling every single person we came across, because THEY could very well get that sickness and they could certainly benefit from this antidote.

This still leaves me wondering why He loves me enough to have done this for me. I suppose He loves me because I am His child and therefore made in His image and likeness (which in and of itself is a mighty big sacrifice, but I digress) and like every loving Father, He wants me to come home to Him, where He has all these treats.

So, if God has, in the person of Christ, made such terrible sacrifices** FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE of providing us with a joyful, eternal life...wouldn't it be ungrateful to suppress our joy? I'm sure God doesn't want us to react to His gift of salvation the way my oldest son reacts*** to a birthday gift of, say, socks.

So, if we have faith (and we ought) that what God has in store for us is even better than we could wish for****, we can't HELP but be in a stellar mood. And when we are ungrateful enough to pout, well, let me just add--ask me how I know--one should take due care in processing the Eucharist, because God likes to issue reminders.

*I mean this in the editorial "we" sense, not that you and I and also probably any passersby--whom you've called over hollering "C'mere. c''s another one!!"--should be lumped together medically to prove this analogy)

** A lot of people gloss over the terribleness--and the necessity thereof--of the blood sacrifice, and if they had editorial powers over Scripture, I'm sure our Lord's Passion would have been renamed our Lord's Inconvenience. I also figure these people are strongly tempted to begin the Our Father by saying "To Whom it may concern."

*** You know the look that kids give and that hollow "Yeah. Thanks. Really." that passes as gratitude.

**** I Corinthians 2:9 : "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love Him." So there.