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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Faith and the Christian Personality

Does my life, my personal decisions, really matter? One reason many hesitate when it comes to really pursuing God is a fear - the fear that once God is found I will lose myself or else something I hold dear or it will be too hard, and I will give up. This fear is not completely unfounded. After all, our Crucified God told us that to be his disciple we would have to renounce ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. And, we also know that even the just man (the person redeemed by God, who lives in faith in Him) still sins and falls short. Yet He also said that his yoke is easy and his burden light. So there is a paradox to think about. How is the renunciation of my very self an easy thing to do?

One contemplation that might help with this paradox is to ponder another one - that the more we are united to Christ, the more we abide in Him and are mindful of Him; the more we become more fully our true selves. There is a wideness in God's mercy - the love with which He embraced the whole of our lives. This merciful love does not crush or absorb us - it makes room for us, provides space that we might thrive. God is the One who through the resurrection of Christ restores the meaning of the unique and unrepeatable - the inexhaustible differences that constantly surprise us in the beauty of creation. This is rich diversity also lives unique and unrepeatable in the heart of each one. Thus, the Lord God loves each of us with a unique and unrepeatable love. Although we share so much in common - He loves us not merely in general, but specifically, right now in this moment. It is with this love that He rose from the dead - so that all that is good, holy, noble and true about each of us might not perish, but be saved in Him - that by this salvation we might live forever - unique images of his inexhaustible beauty. To live for God, to abide in Christ, to pursue Him with all our strength - it leads through the mystery of the Cross and the death of Christ to eternal life - an inexhaustible life to the full, a thriving happiness and beatitude that God has yearned for each one before the foundation of the world. Yes - your life really matters!

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