Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Catholic Defender with a word on Training

To reach for the sky, to get where you need to go, you must plan and prepare to obtain the goal. To achieve means you've got to believe in yourself. You got to believe that you can move mountains if you have the faith. "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about so great a cloud of witnesses, 'let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). We are training ourselves and disciplining ourselves to obtain the goal.

Along the way there will be snares that will be set before you that you must maneuver through. "But refuse profane and old wives fables, and exercise yourself rather towards godliness. For exercise has limited value, but devotion is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come" (1 Timothy 4:7-9). That is a most wonderful text especially for an athlete. It is so true! As you train for worldly pursuits, keep your eyes on the Kingdom of heaven.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). St. Jerome once said that "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ", this should become our field manual. Take the dust off the binders and take another good look at the biblical teachings that give us strength and hope. In order to reach the goal set before you, this field manual will have to become a daily practice. Your word Oh Lord becomes a light unto my path.

The Catholic Faith is really a team effort. "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled', without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (James 2:14-17). We must do the will of the Father, to pick up our cross and follow Him. It is the way of the cross!
Along the journey there will be trials along the way. The Lord gives us the strength that we need to carry our cross. We should do so as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed, willingly not for shameful gain but eagerly. We are not to lord it over them but to serve, to be examples for others to follow (1 Peter 5:1-5). Even though this text is primarily for the leaders of the Church, it is good for all of us to train ourselves in humility. "To know God, love God, and serve God". If we can experience the love of God in our hearts, this brings us joy.
The fruits of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
(Galatians 5:22)

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