This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Thursday within the Octave of Easter
(Click here for readings)
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
Not too long ago, I was asked to give a talk to our 8th graders about Confirmation. When the time came for questions, I was bombarded by the kids. I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, I was very proud of them. They asked fantastic questions. I felt like they had paid attention to what I had said and it caused them to reflect and react. One question in particular stood out among the rest: “What do you do when you don’t feel God?”
More than a feeling. “Excellent question!” I said. ”You all know the song, ‘Feelings,’ right?“ Well they didn’t. I was wrong. I was way off on my timeline, and the kids just starred at me as if I had two heads on my shoulders.
“Whoops! I guess that was a little before your time. What I meant to say was ‘More than a feeling’” Their heads shot up. Thank God they had heard of the group “Boston”!
This is what I told them.
Well, feelings are fine, but they are not as essentials to our faith as the facts of our faith. And so if we want to get to know the Lord better, then we better get our facts (and faith) straight.
What are some of the facts.
Fact: The Lord came into the world for us. Fact: He preached for us. Fact: He even lived and died for us. Fact: He rose from the dead. Fact: He forgave our sins and now insists that we forgive those who trespass against us. Fact: He gave us a new commandment: ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ Fact: He gave us his body and blood to eat and drink. Fact: He insists we give more of our selves to others. Fact: He put Peter in charge of His Church.
The Creed (along with religion classes) are an excellent resource to get to know the facts of our faith. But facts will only take us so far. We all know that if you want to learn how to drive, then you have to get behind the wheel. Reading a drivers manual is simply not enough. You need to have a driving experience.
The same goes for the Lord. If you want to get to know the Lord better in your life, then you need to experience His presence in your life; that is, you need to have a personal encounter with the Lord.
Personal experience is more than a feeling. It means witnessing firsthand what the Lord has done, and done for you.
Our Lord (and our faith) demands such experience, and this experience goes well beyond feelings. In fact, it may actually contradict our “feelings.”
St. Paul put it best when he wrote (about his experiences with the Lord): ’It is no longer I who live in me, but Christ who lives in me’ (cf. Gal 2:20).
How do we get an experience of the Lord? Take His Life and live it. (116)