Sunday, November 17, 2013

A matter of identity

[Matt Talbot would certainly have answered these questions differently in his drinking days and later after his conversion and alcoholism recovery.]


Who Are You? What Is Your Purpose?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We humans, in many ways, have lost our identity. While individuals might have answers to the big questions of life, that isn't the case with us as a community of persons. Our culture no longer has the answers to these questions:
  • Who am I?
  • What is the purpose to life?
  • Who is God?
  • Why was I created?
These questions and the corresponding answers directly affect what we believe, how we view life, and how we live. The root of the issue is this - without an identity in Christ, we cannot see ourselves, others or the world in the proper context. We mistake a lie for the truth.

What is the truth about you and I?
It is that each of us are created in the image and likeness of God. Big deal, you might think. But, it is. It is our identity. We are adopted into the family of God (the Trinity) and made partakers of the divine nature. This means we are caught up into the love of God, by our willing participation in God's divine life. Notice this work is always an act of God, but it requires our consent - through faith. God will never force us to participate in following Him.
If we do choose Him, a new-found identity in Christ means we can no longer look at ourselves or others in the same way. This is why the John Paul the Great quoted the following verse more than any other from Vatican II:
"Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear." -(Gaudium et Spes 22)
If we want to know who we are, who others are, and the answers to the other questions that have been planted deep within us, then we need to understand who Jesus is and who we are in light of Christ. When God became man in the Incarnation, He didn't lower His own divine nature, which is impossible - because God is unchangeable, rather He raise up our human nature higher. The document goes on to say our nature...
"has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man."
This is our "supreme calling" - to find who we are in Christ. To live fully in the Fathers' love, truth and grace. This is what we were made for.

This is the truth about the mystery of humanity. We were made to live this way, and called to find this truth. When we do so, we discover what real human "dignity" means. Which is why the document continues with:
"The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light." 
When we do not live in this truth we bring suffering upon ourselves and others...