Mak­ing Christ alive

The Freeman - - OPINION -

This is no gra­tu­itous, base­less pur­suit. We are not in­dulging in some fan­tasy when we ex­ert the ef­fort to make Christ alive in us. In the first place, be­cause Christ him­self is alive. He con­tin­ues to be with us and is, in fact, ac­tively in­ter­ven­ing in our lives. We are not in some make­be­lieve world.

It's us who have the prob­lem since we tend to ig­nore him. It's the same prob­lem once ar­tic­u­lated by St. Au­gus­tine: "You were with me, but I was not with you." And even the things around all point to us about Christ's con­stant in­ter­ven­tions in our lives. Still, we fail to be aware of him.

Christ, of course, died, but then he rose again, never to die again. And even if he rose again, he af­ter so many days as­cended into heaven. He should not be around any­more. But, no, he con­tin­ues to be here, this time in the Holy Spirit!

Let's re­mem­ber that be­fore he went up to heaven, he promised the coming of the Holy Spirit who would bring to us ev­ery­thing that Christ did and said. More than that, the Holy Spirit brings Christ alive in us.

This is how God works. The en­tire trin­ity of the Fa­ther, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is in­volved in this con­tin­u­ing di­vine ef­fort to bring us back to where we came from–that is, from God him­self in whose im­age and like­ness we have been cre­ated. And God in his work can­not be frus­trated de­spite the mess we make.

We just have to ex­er­cise our faith to the hilt. With it we en­ter into a re­al­ity that goes be­yond what we sim­ply can see and touch and un­der­stand. With it we can feel at home even with mys­ter­ies which, by the way, abound in our life since we are not con­fined only to the sen­si­ble and ma­te­rial re­al­i­ties. Our world in­cludes the spir­i­tual and the su­per­nat­u­ral.

Ex­er­cis­ing our faith means con­stantly deal­ing with the Holy Spirit. Deal­ing with the Holy Spirit in­volves cer­tain re­quire­ments, like deep­en­ing our knowl­edge of the truths of our faith by med­i­tat­ing on the gospel, study­ing the cat­e­chism, fol­low­ing the teach­ings of the Pope, etc.

It also in­volves con­stant spir­i­tual strug­gle against our weak­nesses, temp­ta­tions and sins. It cer­tainly in­volves de­vel­op­ing virtues so that we grad­u­ally can be more per­cep­tive of the prompt­ings of the Holy Spirit.

Also in­dis­pens­able is the re­course to the sacra­ments which are the very chan­nels of grace that Christ him­self in­sti­tuted so that his pres­ence and the ef­fec­tive­ness of his re­demp­tive work on us can be per­pet­u­ated till the end of time.

This is how we can make Christ alive in us, Christ who will al­ways un­der­stand us even if we fail him many times. We just have to do our part, and do it as best as we can, even to the point of hero­ism and mar­tyr­dom. This, in fact, is also the ex­tent Christ does to reach us and to save us.

If we cor­re­spond ac­tively to what Christ has done for us, we in the Holy Spirit can truly man­age to make Christ alive in us. It is re­ally just a mat­ter of be­ing con­sis­tent with our faith that brings with it the other virtues of hope and char­ity. In that way, we would be deal­ing with the Holy Spirit who will bring Christ to us alive.

‘This is how God works. The en­tire trin­ity of the Fa­ther, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is in­volved in this con­tin­u­ing di­vine ef­fort to bring us back to where we came from.’

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