I am more and more convinced that we Catholics don’t know what we are talking about…Let me explain my rant.
Salvation is why Christ came…to save the world, not condemn it. I do not think we all know what this means? I think that most of us think it just means getting into heaven…and that is not it.
At least not the whole enchilada.
Salvation is so much more than about me, or you, or anyone else getting into heaven. I am also convinced that if we did more reflection upon this CORE belief of our faith (kerygma) then we would begin to see the value, the pearl of great value that is the Christian-Catholic Faith.
Why do I say this…because it is my story. Grew up Catholic, went to mass, served as an altar server, went to religious education, did all the normal things a “good” Catholic does. I attended mass in college and grad school, and when I moved to Nevada, found a church, and became more involved. Eventually found myself in a seminary studying to be a priest. A nagging question though as an adult, I believed that by Jesus’ paschal mystery all of humanity was saved, I just did not KNOW how this was accomplished. I did not KNOW what this meant. In essence, what was “Salvation?”
I received technical answers in seminary, but, nothing grabbed me. I wrote a paper on it, trying to explain it to myself, and still the same. So I was ordained and began to serve as priest in the diocese.
It was not until I began the journey through and out of my life long depression that I began to understand and comprehend the meaning of salvation. That it is the ability, the capacity to be alive in the here and now; to be fully engaged in living, so that being fully alive in the here and now, it would only be natural to be alive in the eternal.
Being alive is not about engaging in feel good activities; it is not doing whatever the hell I want with the motto “if it feels good, then it must be good”. That is a trap! It is what St. Paul warned of.
Rather, I found that being alive is to be engaged with others; it is to be in communion with others—as in the Holy Trinity (hint, hint).
This revelation is what blew my mind open to the beauty and elegance of our faith. It changed everything for me. I think that I live differently now and better, than what I did 10 years ago.
I want people to have this same experience. I want them to see Salvation. But…as the cliche goes…you can lead to water, but…..
I think too, we each have to have some experience that opens us to the revelation. I think we need to have an experience that makes us ask “Why?” and “What for?”. Then the Spirit pushes us forward. Then we will drink of the waters of life.