Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pockets Of The Soul

Turn us then,
O God our Saviour.
And let thine anger cease from us.

There is no doubt about it. It is a sure reality and happens many times every day. Even the most well lived life, where the natural sense of life is concerned, must eventually come to an end.[1] Not just the most well lived life, but also the life that is pillaged by a lack of concern for eternal affairs.

There is another sure reality. Not a single material garnered good can follow with us as we pass through the gateway of the grave where the eternal grandeur of heaven awaits the faithful and eternal sorrow awaits the faithless, perverse, and disobedient.[2]

There is really nothing morbid or morose about contemplating the final rite of passage that all of humankind must experience. It is, in fact, something that the founder of our Order recommends as a daily exercise of reflection and recollection.[3] What, after all, is the purpose of this temporal physical life if it is not considered a brief preparation for the unending life that is to come once we pass through the transparent veil?[4]

In a moment, in a “twinkling of the eye” as the Apostle says, one by one or altogether at the Parousia, we meet the One who examines the contents of the pockets of our souls. And what will be found in them? Treasures that will commend our souls to eternal paradise? Or sand that will garner reproof and possible rejection from the place of eternal rest and peace?[5]

God’s mercy and grace, granted, is efficacious and far reaching. His alone, despite our best theoretical rationalizing, is the ultimate and final say. His judgment alone will measure the degrees of my obedience or disobedience to his revealed will.

Where admission into eternal glory is concerned, it would be inordinate for me, as a sincerely believing Christian, to live in abject fear of the eventual moment that I should be living to embrace. It would, at the same time, be inordinate for me to put aside the “fear of hell.” I cannot be satisfied with a mere “getting in by the skin of my teeth” attitude, an attitude that seems to be prevalent in the mixed bag economy of contemporary Christian culture.

I cannot dismiss my sinful condition. I must accountably embrace it as part of my own personal reality, as part of the greater reality at work in all of humankind. In accountably embracing it, I come to know and understand my sinful condition. In knowing and understanding is born the will to change and the courage to make amendment.[6]

[1] Hebrews 9:27
[2] Romans 14:10-12
[3] RB 4:47
[4] James 4:14
[5] 2 Corinthians 5:10
[6] RB, Prologue 36