God Reveals – We Respond?

Melanie Jean Juneau

As Christians we are called to listen and respond to God’s direction, because our lives revolve around God. We have no business asking God to bless our great ideas and projects.

Decades ago, I ranted and raved at the efficient, organized people who tried to carry out their own personal agendas within the Catholic Church. Yet, I lacked the words to connect with these proactive Catholics who dismissed me as some sort of  irrelevant, passive mystic.  It seemed that I was the proverbial contemplative Mary-type, trying to reason with practical Martha-types, all to no avail. I couldn’t communicate that Christians must wait for God to lead and simply respond –  not initiate. As a result, I  literally gave up on committees for years. The impasse was simply too frustrating. Too often, busy Catholics think that they can bring the methods of  the secular business world and use them in the kingdom of God. Yet, the truth is that Church growth and Christian activities are all about God’s actions, not man’s actions.

Listen to Pope Francis:

As for us, if we wish to form church, we need only to listen and respond to God who acts and speaks first. Of course, our response is not perfect. As Pope Francis reminds us, “When we recognize that we are sinners, God fills us with His mercy and love, and He forgives us. He always forgives us. This is what makes us grow as the people of God, the church.”

Throughout his teaching on The Nature of the Church, the Holy Father reminds us of man’s pride, egoism and hardness of heart. These are the traits that drive man to take the initiative, and thus take control.

During this audience, Pope Francis gently chided us for both our self-centered idea that it is we who form the Church, and also challenged the way we look at the Church. However, as usual, he closes with inspiring words that both warm our hearts and encourage us.

“When God called Abraham this was His plan: form a people blessed by His love and who would bring His blessing to all the people of the earth. This plan has never changed and in Christ it reached its fulfillment and, still today, God continues this work in the church… I like to think that a synonym for being Christian is being men and women – a people – who always bless. Through their lives, Christians must always bless God and bless others….It’s a beautiful vocation.”

As Catholics, we must always remind ourselves that God reveals Himself to us, in His time, and we are to simply respond. When we recognize that it’s not all about us, we begin to develop a spirit of humility. Believing in revelation means that we are to be aware and respond to God’s initiative, and we stop trying to build His Church, and our parishes, on our own.

It is impossible to be spiritually proactive without God at the helm. Anyone who ever tried to do so ended up with disastrous results. Just look at Adam and Eve, and the people who built the Tower of Babel, and Judas.

As a Catholic, a parishioner in your own church, how will you be remembered?

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14 thoughts on “God Reveals – We Respond?”

  1. Pingback: Pastoral Sharings: "25th Sunday in Ordinary Time" | St. John

  2. Melanie’s writing reminds me of St. Therese. She has her “little way” of sharing the most profound issues with a gentle touch, while leaving a lasting impression. Thank you, Melanie. I enjoyed reading and reflecting on this message. God bless you.

  3. Dear Melanie-So much could be written about those who have turned our Church in to a business. Jesus cared for the moneychangers in His own special way. Hopefully, following the principle from a poet, we will not be remembered: “. . .that best part of a good man’s life, his little unremembered acts of love and kindness.” Guy McClung, San Antonio

    1. melanie jean juneau

      Thank-you; this is a powerful quote- “. . .that best part of a good man’s life, his little unremembered acts of love and kindness.”

    2. Melanie-Glad you liked it-made me get ir right: William Wordsworth “The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

      William Wordsworth,

      Lyrical Ballads

  4. When we recognize that it’s not all about us, we begin to develop a spirit of humility.

    Someday, there will be no more religion among those running this country. Leaders will know that it really is all about them. I don’t think the world will be a better place when that happens. Maybe it is starting to happen already.

    1. melanie jean juneau

      Yes, those who use religion for there own purposes are an example of what I mean by NOT living as true disciples of Christ

    2. Everyone, all Catholic Stand articles, all comments, all commenters, all authors: In some special God-knows, God-works-in-strange-ways effort we are all of us being called to pray for “Bill S.” Read between the lines and you will see that he is on a journey to the Truth and the irresistible tractor beam of God’s love has him in its pull. As CS Lewis said, paraphrasing, Bill S is no “mere mortal,” next to Jesus in the Eucharist Bill S is the most sacred thing we will encounter on this earth, and we can have a role in Bill S being an everlasting splendor in Heaven. Before any reply to Bill S, realize he is in the palm of God’s hand, say a prayer for him, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you good words to bring him to Truth. May God bless and keep Bill S and always hold him safe in the palm of His hand. Wouldn’t mind anyone praying for me and my family also, Guy McClung San Antonio

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