February 3, 2016: Do what is right by God, not man

~by Susi Pittman


We all like to think that we are making good daily decisions, living good and decent lives, loving our families and friends, keeping it simple and not over-stretching ourselves into that uncomfortable area of inconvenience and the unknown. Life moves smoothly and it is easy to smile and be good. Such was the life of pagans in Jesus’ life.

Pagans did not either believe or understand what Jesus was asking of each soul on earth; that a soul identifies itself with Jesus so completely, it becomes a new life, an extension of the life of God’s only beloved Son to do the will of the Father.

The problem with that is it is not the easy road.

It is perhaps the hard road, because each of us, a soul created by God, is wrapped in a corporeal sheathing that ultimately runs interference with our communion of the divine sufficiency…recourse to Jesus the Word of God, living in us by sanctifying grace and giving us life as mystical members of His one body.

Often times, in giving of ourselves to Jesus and following His teachings, there IS suffering. God the Father did not keep this experience from His Only Son, nor is it kept from us. This is usually where the body and spirit lose their accord and one or the other wins out. Things get complicated as the body cries out against suffering and the soul finds it extremely had to break free from such bondage and embrace that which is inevitably a purification. There is a detachment from faith in God’s divine providence of not ever giving us more than we can well bear.

One of the more humorous anecdotes that I heard concerning this, came from a dear friend who remarked about this predicament; You know Lord, with the way You treat Your friends, it’s a wonder You have any at all!

In all honesty, it rings true. We despise the hard decisions, the suffering, the enduring, the need to forgive the unforgiveable, the need to leave comfort and convenience behind, the touching of the untouchable, to love the unloveable, the giving of self instead of riches, the embracing of vulnerability instead of the power of our own will, the separation of our hard earned status to become perhaps unseen.

It is the state of our humanity. And it is that state of being that will be our demise, unless we choose to love God more than we love ourselves.

How much more pleasing to God is our life lived through Jesus, practicing His teachings, empty of our selfishness, receiving heavenly grace in our identification with God’s Son.

Once that grace is truly tasted, the soul hungers for that love. This need for the infinite love Jesus heaps upon a soul with overflowing measure leaves a soul wanting to bear all in Jesus’ name. There is nothing more needed nor more powerful than His love.

In such a love, Jesus is permitted to present us to the infinitely loveable Father, making a gift of Himself through us.

As we face the trials and tribulations of our state in life, we must always keep at the forefront of our intellectual self, the continued question in all decisions, what must I do here that makes this right with and for God?

To make sure the answer to that question is fulfilled perfectly, we must abandon ourselves utterly to that feeling of tranquil surrender which comes so naturally when we allow Jesus to fill our heart, mind and soul with Himself, thus allowing Him to fulfill completely His ardent love for the Heavenly Father in us.

Jesus is now and will always be the answer to that question.

POST SCRIPT: Just prior to writing this column, I was preparing myself and materials and happened upon a book titled The Parables of Jesus: Beautiful Lessons in Living. Upon opening the book, there on the inside cover was a handwritten note to my Dad from me, dated 1-1-81. I was stunned. I had forgotten that after my father’s death, my sister had given me this book, stating that Dad had always kept this on his night stand. Inside the book, on page 17, I had marked The Prodigal Son as MY FAVORITE PARABLE. As I continued to turn the pages and reflect on the various parables, I came to page 25, where for the first time, after 35 years, my eyes saw that my father had written back to me (knowing I truly believe that I would find this one day)…Suzu, this is my favorite, Dad. It was the parable of The Faithful Steward.

Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions…Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more. Luke 12: 42-48

Dad, thank you for writing me back. I finally got it…remarkably today as I prepared to write this column exactly upon the subject matter you wanted me to see. Please continue to pray for me before God whose countenance you behold, that our Lord Jesus will one day count me as a faithful and wise steward of what has been given to me. I love you Dad.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

*** Visit SUSI WEEKLY ARCHIVE ***

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