In light of the many things that are happening in the Church and in the world, I was pondering the necessity of personal conversion. There is no substitute for that personal relationship with Jesus. There is no substitute for the work we must do in allowing Jesus to come and heal our wounds and our sins so that we can be set free.
No one can do that work for us and no one else's work in this area can take the place of our own.
Perhaps this idea can seem rather daunting-- like the Christmas presents that read "Some Assembly Required" which perhaps should actually read, "this box contains five million small pieces of plastic and one sheet of directions written in five languages. Good luck!"
However, as we see in the parable of the wise vs the foolish virgins, the reality become clearer.
In the Gospel of Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus tells a parable of the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins. When the bridegroom showed up, the five wise virgins had enough oil in their lamps, the five foolish ones did not and so they missed the opportunity of entering the wedding feast with the Bridegroom.
Obviously the "oil" in the lamps isn't literally oil but a symbol for faith. I was also thinking that it links with the personal relationship with Jesus, the deep intimacy that He gifts to us. As we open ourselves to Him-- allowing Him to touch us in our wounds, receiving the Sacraments as often as we can and living a life of truth-- these realities are the "oil" in the lamps of our soul.
But if we stand with Christ and continue along the journey of discipleship, if we remain faithful to the end, we will rise.
The death of Jesus, what seemed like the worst thing to ever happen- became the grounds for the most beautiful thing to ever happen-- that Jesus breaks the bonds of death, rises again and unites us to our Father.
Let's all take a deep breath. We must remain calm and in balance. We must continue on.
All things will pass away-- troubles, strife, trials, disagreements-- these things have been with us since the beginning of our experience with Original Sin. The trials the Church is facing now aren't the first and they won't be the last.
Let us peacefully and honestly stay the course.