Sunday, July 23, 2017

Goalie for the Save, or Forming Your Conscience for the Goal

One of the most important things in life is to form the conscience. Building your conscience is like building a Great Wall against the turning tides and emotions of both your own humanity and the attacks of the devil.  The nitty gritty is in the preparation. 

Action can exist in words as an adjective or as a verb to describe what is happening. It's what we cannot see in the immediate action that requires a readiness of heart. Take the examples from scripture: "He wept." "She desperately moved close to Him to touch His robe."  Why did he weep? What had come before to lead him to weep? What made her think that touching His robe would help her? How had she survived so long with the ailment that caused her to seek Him out?

What is really cool, is that God knows your heart and desires above anything and anyone else.  When you seek to form your conscience, you most certainly will not have instant clarity. The intentions and desires of humankind are a great mystery to even those that are nearest to each other.  But those who know, understand that in time the fog will lift.  Usually, it lifts at just the right time.

So, what can make one man take one action and another in similar circumstances do a totally different thing?  Today's scripture is Matthew 13:24-43 'When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. '  This exemplifies that all manner of things can happen that are not your fault.  But notice the action of the farmer versus the servants.  The farmer chooses to act using his prior knowledge and forethought about the good crop.   The servants are ready to pull it up and throw it away.  Jesus goes on to describe that the farmer understands the detriment of pulling up the weeds too early.

It's kind of like soccer.  Each man on the field has a specific part to play.  They are all on the same field of play.  The goalie prepares his heart and mind to defend the goal.  The midfielder prepares his heart and mind to run, a lot. Very much, a lot of running.  This of course is the simplified explanation because if you know nothing about soccer, then you should know that the goalie is the only person allowed to catch the ball with his hands.  If the ball even grazes the hands of the midfielder then there is a penalty.  The midfielder must prepare to problem solve around moving the ball without his hands.  Each prepares their movements to coincide with the needs of their position.

What is our position in the game of life?  We must be prepared to spring forward and sometimes fall backward.  Both are a necessity because they will happen eventually.  If we can acknowledge the vast spiritual realm that plays a large part in our lives, then we can see the importance of preparing the conscience for good and bad circumstances.

One example is the practice of praying the rosary.  For one thing, just to memorize a prayer is a start.  But also to know the very act of remembering to speak the prayer you know when a trial comes upon you, is to speak to the heart of Christ who knows all of your needs.  You could even think of each Hail Mary prayed as a brick you have laid down in preparation for spiritual attack when it comes.

We all need this preparation.  From the nearest to the Word of God to the most desperate.  God is always calling us to be better so we can fulfill His will to help others be better.  Form your conscience the best you can and when in doubt ask a priest to help you.