[L]ive temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ. // Titus 2:12-13
“Why does your Church have so many rules?” asked one of my friends in college. “Isn’t freedom important? I don’t know why anyone would subject themselves to such torture!”
“Well,” I replied, “Have you heard the phrase ‘Holy Mother Church?’ I view the Church as my mother—a good mother who nourishes, protects, and provides boundaries so that I can live in the freedom of who God created me to be. Sure, it might seem like there are a lot of rules to keep track of, but I see these as guides that are leading me to my home in Heaven.”
“I don’t understand why you would want to live a miserable life, deprived of earthly pleasures,” she replied. “You are missing out by being so devout.”
My friend shut down the conversation, and my heart sank with sadness for her. How I wish that she knew the joy of the Gospel! Yes, the Gospel demands sacrificial love, but it is a life-giving love united to the Heart of Jesus. The Cross is always fruitful and leads to the resurrection. And we do not have to wait until Heaven to experience this new life in Christ.
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, whose feast we celebrate today, helps to unlock this mystery for us. She wrote, “It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth, since Heaven is God and God is in my soul. The day I understood that, everything became clear to me. I wish to tell this secret to those whom I love so that they also, through everything, may also cling to God” (Letter 122).
Sister, as we strive to live a life of virtue and “await the blessed hope,” let us never forget that the Holy Trinity is dwelling within our souls. How will we let Holy Mother Church nurture this life of grace within us today?The Cross is always fruitful and leads to the resurrection. // Rose Coleman Click To Tweet