Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Wish to Know Christ

Yes, St. Paul expresses what those of the Order of the Present Moment want.

I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from His resurrection; 
likewise to know how to share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death.

And for this to occur, we must live each moment now, seeking to know Christ. To do this we must have a change of attitude and perspective, to come to the spiritual view. But those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.

This attitude and perspective is ours for the asking and doing. Just ask. Just do it. Begin now in this present moment and continue in every present moment. Yes, it is a process for most of us, for we may not be in a position like St. Antony of the Desert whose parents died, leaving him wealth and a younger sister. He gave his sister over to women to teach and care for, gave them part of the wealth to do so, and gave the rest to the poor. He was taking Jesus' words literally, and seriously. This was all right in his time and circumstance. He learned from a hermit for awhile, on the edge of small city. When the hermit felt Antony ready, the young seeker of Christ went to the desert to be alone with God and to know Christ. Most of us know the rest of the historical and spiritual story.

 For anyone reading the complementary blog at www. orderofthepresentmoment., we will understand that we must consider our era and circumstance, individually, in the present moment. Few if any could or would be advised to do just what St. Antony did, or what St. Francis did, or what St. Seraphim the Seraph did, or what Bl. Teresa of Calcutta did. We are unlikely in their time, place or circumstance.

But we can do as they did, for we are to do as Christ did and does. This is as St. Paul did. For His sake I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my wealth and I may be in Him, not having any justice of my own based on observance of the law. The justice I possess is that which comes through faith in Christ. It has its origin in God and is based on faith.

What we must do is to learn the interior spiritual way. Go to the inner and learn the spiritual view, make the spiritual changes and adaptations, for the inner will then alter the outer according to the will of God and not through our determinations or forced extremes. However, over many present moments, the effect may seem extreme to others because our inner and outer will change. We will have forfeited everything in essence, and due to this essential giving up and dying to ourselves and wishing to know Christ in all, we will not possess in the way we used to possess. 

This may mean we do not replace items or do not purchase items unnecessary to knowing Christ, or it may mean we are not possessed by these possessions, nor possessed by certain ideas of what we ought to be in relation to others in the world. We may wear the same clothes we always wore, but not care as we used to. We may put as primary, daily Mass, providing for other duties if those dependent upon us can come with us or we have arranged for their supervision while we are at Mass. If working at the time daily Mass is scheduled, we make spiritual Communions. We read the Missal and absorb the Mass readings. We pre-set and record Mass offered by EWTN if we have access and TV. 

This is but a couple of examples of how the inner desire will alter the exterior through an act of the will. There are as many examples as there are souls and present moments, as to other ways of knowing Christ, and thus forfeiting everything of our own will and possessions (including vices and thought distractions) in order for Christ to be our wealth, and our being in Him. We will be astounded to realize that soon, if not immediately, what used to seem so important to us is now not, but is rubbish, is loss, in the light of Christ.

We may think our present circumstances do not allow for forfeiting everything. But forfeiting all for Christ is more an inner disposition and act of will that can begin with attitude and thoughts, and then creatively, using the gift of imagination, extend to adapting life in Christ into our daily lives in fascinating and amazing ways. 

Practice seeing Christ in others, literally and figuratively. Add reading a paragraph of Scripture before bedtime or upon rising. Make ourselves get up five minutes earlier to pray a verbal prayer or meditate. Stay up five minutes later to do so. Utilize lunch break at work. Pray for people we encounter throughout the day, spontaneously in our minds and heart. Pray for God to use us in the night, for He will, and pray that the devil is bound from our soul then, and always. 

Instead of news or TV programs, cut them out in one fell swoop or one by one and exchange for quiet time of prayer or reading, and include family in this if possible. If not, excuse yourself for time with Christ. Read Scripture, even one a day or memorize one as a chant of praise, spoken in the mind. Exchange secular music for religious, or none at all and experience Christ in the silence. St. Paul did not have an iPod; he had birds and breeze.  

Sacrifice some expensive food item now and then, or regularly, or all the time. Use the saved money for the poor, even for those poor in spiritual life, such as buying a saint book for yourself or another. Take a present moment to read about virtues, one by one. Practice them in daily life. Exchange secular for spiritual, and Christ will be known to us more and more, and then through us, to others. All these ideas and millions more can be done in any era, culture, circumstance. 

Change the environment of our interior lives. Pray to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, for ideas to know Christ in whatever interior and exterior circumstance we may be living. Ask Mother Mary to help us to learn loving to know Christ. Pray for help. Help will come. Begin when young or old, but begin in this present moment.

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