Today’s guest article is submitted by Rich Maffeo of www.equippingcatholics.blogspot.com.
Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ, wrote: “Nothing is more practical than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love, with what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you’ll do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love (with God). Stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
I began an online study of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians with the hope that my fellow Catholics — and Christians in other churches — will learn to fall more deeply in love with God, to serve Him with increasing fruitfulness, and make the cry of the Lord Jesus for unity (John 17) our cry as well.
In light of the growing anti-Christian sentiment rising in many areas of America, Canada and Europe, if we do not stand together we face a very serious risk of falling separately. A house divided against itself still cannot stand, and it is prudent to remember the words of Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor during the Nazi years:
“In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me — and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
As we study Ephesians we take advantage of the insights garnered from a variety of Christian sources. All baptized children of God can learn from each other, and so while we refer often to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we also look to the thoughts of Christians such as Oswald Chambers, Pope John Paul II, C. S. Lewis, St. Catherine of Siena, Pope Benedict XVI, Thomas a Kempis, Bishop Fulton Sheen, A. W. Tozer, Mother Teresa, St. Ignatius, St. Francis De Sales, and many others.
We also use various translations of the Scriptures, such as the New American Bible, the New American Standard Bible, the Amplified Bible, and the Catholic Douay-Rheims version. I also keep a lexicon of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic nearby.
So, let us press on to know the Lord, taking up the full armor of God that St. Paul speaks of in Ephesians 6, verses 10-20. All Christians, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, are engaged in a great spiritual battle for the souls of the lost, and we would do well to make Saint Terese of Avila’s prayer our own:
“Lord Christ, You have no body on earth but ours, No hands but ours, No feet but ours. Ours are the eyes through which your compassion must look out on the world. Ours are the feet by which you may still go about doing good. Ours are the hands with which You bless people now. Bless our minds and bodies, that we may be a blessing to others. Amen.”
You can visit the study at www.equippingcatholics.blogspot.com
You can also read my contemplative blog at: www.thecontemplativecatholicconvert.blogspot.com
Copyright 2010 Rich Maffeo