Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

12 Miles Down

Last night, from 8 p.m. until 9:42 p.m. I ran 12 miles around the DC area - up the George Washington Parkway, across the Key Bridge into Georgetown and back, down the GW Parkway again, across the George Mason bridge, around Jefferson Memorial, up to the Mall, down the Mall almost all the way (as far as the Native American Museum), and then back across the GM Bridge to where I'd parked at the Lady Bird Memorial park. My average pace was 8:33 min/mile - well on track to meet my goal of a sub-4 hour marathon. My roommate Tom ran with me and we had a nice time. Pretty views, cool air, light traffic. I'm just a little sore today, and imagine he is too, because he hasn't run more than a few miles in a number of years. I give him props for gettin' out there.

I am hoping that, in the intensification of time and experience that physical exertion brings, I will provide God, or God will provide me, a setting in which my heart can be more readily purified, my will strengthened, and my joy deepened.

I was nearly hit by a Chevy Suburban while straddling the Jersey barrier in the middle of the George Washington Parkway, intended to keep pedestrians from crossing it. That near-death experience - just inches of space - made me happy that I'd gone to confession recently. Next time, I'll look for another place to cross, like my roommate did.


Mark said...

Jesus, if he ever existed, was a man, a human being. I have yet to see evidence sufficient to compel me to believe that he was or is a god. Where would you say the evidence is that compels you to believe that he was a god?

His Handmaid's son said...

Hi Mark!

This forum isn't one properly aimed at debate. If you want a debate, I'll be happy to give you one, but not here - you can email me privately, or join in on the Washington Post's On Faith blogs where I regularly give my two cents.

For now, I'll assume that you're not looking for a debate, but actually want a glimpse into my experience or thoughts on the matter. I wish we could meet face to face, because when we disagree with people online, we (I, at least) tend to assume that they are growling as they type. Please believe me that I am not growling, although I am eager to finish my last task for the day and get out of my cubicle. Your comment merits as immediate a response as possible, though.

For starters, let me point out that in our understanding, God is beyond merciful or just - he gentle and liberating. He doesn't merely impose law and forgive abuse of it. Rather, He wants to enter into an intimate friendship with each one of us. That belief is very near the foundation of the Christian understanding. A friendship, Mark, must be a free relationship, or else it is not an authentic friendship. God will not compel us to do anything beyond what nature, our hardwiring, absolutely demands: we must eat and breathe, or die; etc. But He will not compel us to love or trust in Him. If He did, it wouldn't be love or trust at all.

Another brief point, about evidence and proof. A thing might be proven, but still disbelieved. The two events (one person proving a point, and another believing it) are entirely independent of each other. Similarly, a light might be turned on, and patently visible, except to a blind person, or a person who's turned away from it. In like manner, I might prove that murder is wrong however you approach the question, but a sociopathic murderer, a sadistic murderer will nonetheless deny my arguments because they impinge upon his lifestyle.

Now, God's existence is doubtless, rationally speaking. I can, or perhaps could (I'm not sure), make an airtight case that Jesus of Nazareth was God and still lives though He once was slain.

Neither of those facts would mean that you HAD to believe my arguments, anymore than you have to believe the world is round or that every equilateral triangle has three equal angles. You might not understand the arguments, or you might turn away from them. In any event, God isn't interesting in forcing you into anything. He loves you, and love is patient, kind, and gentle (1 Cor 13). Instead, He wants to reveal Himself to us, show His Heart to us, woo us, even. I admit, it sometimes seems that He has an odd way of doing it - letting our parents die young, permitting hurricanes and car accidents, cancer, and all the other things that make us feel God is hidden or even hateful. But I assure you that God does love each of us, and that Jesus Christ is the fullest manifestation of that immense, infinite love that only an infinite being could have. And it is chiefly by the effects of Jesus Christ that his existence and divinity can be demonstrated. That is for a subsequent post - which I will begin work on shortly, and hopefully post before too long.

For now, suffice it to say that I believe in Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of the Father Almighty, Himself God-in-Flesh, because it makes sense, and because I have met Him myself in my own life.

His Handmaid's son said...

Lolol. Would that I were half as good at living in Christ as I am at prattling on about Him. God bless!