I’m reading this book right now. Even though I thought it would be really heady and hard to get through, it has shocked me with how easy it is to read.
In the introduction, something snagged my attention. An atheist asked Cardinal Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) how many paths there are to God. The Cardinal replied that there are as many paths to God as there are people in the world.
I had never thought about this before. I’m intrigued by that idea and haven’t stopped thinking about it for days (which is why I’m writing about it!). As soon as I read the question, I immediately thought, “One, duh!” However, clearly this cannot be the case. I had to compare myself to St. Philomena. I don’t plan to receiving an offer of marriage from a Roman Emperor, declining it, and then being tortured and killed for my faith. That was St. Philomena’s path to God, not mine.
So what is our path to God? Well all of these “paths” are found in the sacraments and the Holy Spirit. They are found when we imitate Christ and pray daily. They are also found in our vocational callings (religious, married, single) as well as the job or task we are called to (lawyer, doctor, mother, etc.).
Our path has been planned out specifically for us by God before we were formed in our mother’s womb (see Jeremiah 1:5). All we have to do is ask God to guide us.
Holy Spirit, guide our steps on our path toward Heaven. We see the ultimate goal before us. We want to be in the light of Christ forever. We ask for graces that we may attain eternal happiness and life in God. Amen.
St. Philomena not only passed through the waters, angels freed her from the anchor around her neck and brought her onto dry land in front of a crowd or nonbelievers.
We all pass through our own “waters”. Be it a difficult person, an uncomfortable situation, a grief we endure, or anything else, God is with us when we are overwhelmed. He tells us not only that, but also that He’ll keep us from being burned when we walk through fire. While’s it’s cool to imagine walking through a real fire, I think this could refer to the immortality of our world. God will let us walk in it, but He won’t let it burn our souls.
Do you think of yourself as precious in God’s eyes? Today is the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Do you believe the King of the Universe loves you and considers you precious even when He has the whole world at His fingertips? Sounds way too good to be true. But it is the truth. He called us, He knows us.
Pope Benedict XVI said, “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.” I love that quote. It reminds me that God loves me and, because He loves me, He will be with me when I pass through the waters.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of the Universe. On this, your feast day, I ask that you be King of my heart. Be with me as I pass through the waters, especially as I face (your trial). I know that I am precious in your eyes, even when I sin against you. Thank you for loving me. I want to love you the same way.