We don’t follow many blogs, but Ignatius’s As a Little Child is one I am always glad to see and occasionally reply to. He put this out a few weeks ago, and has graciously allowed me to use it – and my reply – here. Over to Ignatius; a response tomorrow.
Can I honestly say, that when I look at myself or at my Church, locally or universally, that I recognise followers of Jesus, the Body of Christ, or the Kingdom of Heaven?
‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!’ [Lk12:49]
Where is this fire?!
I don’t see it in my life. And I rarely hear it in homilies. And I hardly see it in the Church. I start to wonder if we’ve forgotten Jesus.
There are saints amongst us, though. There are holy bishops and priests and religious and lay people, living the gospel. There are orders, and movements and organisations and just people. There are many people out there who sacrifice themselves with Jesus, living the reckless, radical love of the Father.
I just wish it were the rule. I wish that I heard this fire in every homily, and saw it in every Church activity. I wish that we were obviously so much more than a club, or an NGO. I wish that this fire was burning in all my flesh, down to the marrow. But I’ve read that all that’s needed to become a saint, is to will it. God wills it already; we just need to co-operate, accept His grace, obey His gospel.
And the truth is, there’s no real life apart from Jesus’ life. It’s a choice between life and — far worse than death– not-life. I could perhaps call it half-life, but I think not-life better captures the emptiness I’m thinking of. Or being “lukewarm”.
I hope I’m not alone in feeling this way. Please pray with me, that we will together be set on Jesus-fire.