Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

There is a temptation which can lay hold of anyone from the catechumen in RCIA to the tenured theologian at a pontifical university to treat conversations and exchanges about religion as arguments between two contestants about who is right. Winning debates, however, is clearly frowned upon by St. Paul when he describes those who teach something divergent from the words of Jesus as having “a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.” (1 Tm 6:4) On the contrary, we should view all of our conversations and exchanges about religion in particular, and most things in general, as being spoken for the purpose of growing closer to God and as taking place in the presence of our Lord Himself.

When we recall that all our thoughts, words, and deeds are clearly seen, heard and experienced by God, then we become a little less desirous of seeking after arguments to win and disputes to arbitrate. Rather, it becomes clear that “religion with contentment is a great gain.” (1 Tm 6:6) To be in the presence of God is to have the one thing necessary (Lk 10:42), and with Him we may be content. Let us ask the Lord for the peace which ends all disputes, meets every need, and cannot be gained by riches or querulousness, but can only be given by Him alone.

September 18th, 2015