Meditations and Reflections: July 2002 Archives

Father, it is our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere
to give you thanks
through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever been surprised by these words? You probably should have been. Sure enough, we can acknowledge that it is our duty to give praise to God. But how often have we considered that it is also our salvation? It is both duty and salvation. How is it salvation? Wasn't that the work of Jesus Christ Himself?

Salvation is the work of Jesus Christ, in which we must cooperate. We cannot be saved against our will. We cannot be redeemed if we refuse to acknowledge that we are slaves. Therefore it is our salvation to give praise to the Father through the Son because in so doing we align our wills with the one Will that would bring us into His kingdom, if only we would allow Him.

The depth of the love of God shows itself in the lightness of this duty. The depth of the negligence of humankind is measured in how poorly we do this. Do we always and everywhere give God thanks? Do we consistently acknowledge His reign over us? Do we rejoice in the wonderful opportunity of turning ourselves over to God?

Always and everywhere--in traffic, in the accountant's office, while facing trial and talking to our attorneys, while facing the boss who is unjustly blaming you for everything that has gone wrong? And yet it really is our duty, and more importantly our salvation. If, in the midst of all our troubles, we surrender to God and turn to Him with thanks and praise, the troubles, while no less troublesome, become less important--they drop into proper perspective.

Jesus, the very name is our salvation. In The Way of a Pilgrim the efficacy of praying the Jesus Prayer and of simply saying the name of Jesus is pounded home time and time again. If we surround ourselves with a wall constructed of prayers, if we follow the proper teaching of Ephesians 6:10 and following, we will find ourselves triumphant and living in the grace of salvation.

To get there, first we must acknowledge that we need to be saved and that we can in no way save ourselves. We cannot dig our way out of the pit. But we can take off the blinders and see the marble staircase, supported by the hands of angels that leads heavenward. This staircase is adorned by the constant praises of all who love Him.

What a wonderful grace-filled duty! Would that we had a hundred such duties! Would that we could devote five minutes of the day to really doing this. I am reminded of an anecdote regarding St. Benedict. While walking with a local farmer he lamented the inability to concentrate on his prayer for any length of time. The farmer averred that he had no such trouble and he could easily focus on his prayer. Benedict quite calmly said that if the farmer could get through a single "Our Father" without distraction, Benedict would gladly give the farmer his horse. The farmer agreed and immediately started, "Our Father, who art in Heaven. . .Do I get the bridle and saddle as well?" So are we all. Our focus is weak and our ability to turn to God further weakened by our constant preoccupations with things less worthy of our time, for example (dare I say it?) blogging.

But we return once again, it is our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give thanks. Our salvation because while giving thanks we cannot be thinking about ourselves, we must open the door that allows God to enter.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Meditations and Reflections category from July 2002.

Meditations and Reflections: August 2002 is the next archive.

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