My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye, 2015

Well, here we are...the last day of 2015.

It was a good year: there were marriages, babies, friendships.

It was also a hard year: so much suffering and heartbreak and senseless tragedy for so many of my friends.

On my end...I got my driver's license, struggled so much with each hard thing that hit my friends, and slashed my hours at work by more than 2/3. (Good, hard, stupid, in that order.)

And through it all, as I talked about in my last post, there were continual reminders of the love of our God for each of us...for you, for me, for our friends and family and each person we know, each struggling person, each person whose particular hardship has brought us to the foot of the Tabernacle, tears in our eyes, asking Him: "Why? Why this friend...why that man, who's a husband and a father and a very dear friend? Why that baby and her family and extended family? Why that friend? Why death in that family and that family and that other one? Why, Lord, why?"

And the answer comes as we lift our eyes to the Cross hanging above the Tabernacle:
He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? (Rom. 8:32)
And now the year has come to an end; and as I sit here typing this, the over-arching theme of 2015, the thing that friend after friend...well, one stubborn-headed professor in particular...kept reminding me of is this: God loves you. Individually. Personally.

Fr. Boylan writes in This Tremendous Lover:
[God] loves us as individuals, and died for us as individuals. Each of us can truly say with St. Paul: “He loved me, and delivered Himself for me” (Gal 2:20).  ....  His love for men is not merely a love for humanity in general. God is in love with each human individual, personally and particularly. It is essential to remember that fact. Each of us can rightly regard the whole of our Lord’s heart and interest as centered on our own self, for our Lord would have undergone all His passion for any one of us, and each of us was present to His mind just as clearly and as significantly as if there were no one else to redeem.
The New Year...and I'm talking calendar year here...begins in the Christmas Season, with the Octave of the Nativity, with that Baby Who brings a promise of so much new: "I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5, KJV)

We're celebrating the Birth of a Baby Who is God.

God has become Man. The Word has become flesh. God has come to His people.

God--infinite, all-holy, unchangeable, loving {more than that, "God is LOVE" as St. John says), omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient--became Man, took on "the form of a servant," humbled Himself to become a little Baby, hidden in the womb of a virgin for nine months, all because of Love.

He Loves YOU. He Loves ME. .

Those tiny hands--in the words of Sheen: "tiny arms that were not long enough to touch the huge heads of the cattle"--are the hands that made the universe; and, yet, they are the hands strong enough and powerful enough to hold us, to carry us when we're worn and tired, to hold us close when we're burdened and grieving, and to press us gently to His Sacred Heart as He whispers:

I love you, I love you, I love you.

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