Saturday, 31 October 2009

We are more than bodies.

‘So it was that when, by my providence, I created man, I looked into myself and fell in love with the beauty of the creature I had made – for it had pleased me, in my providence, to create man in my own image and likeness.

‘Moreover, I gave man memory, to be able to remember the good things I had done for him and to be able to share in my own power, the power of the eternal Father.

‘Moreover, I gave man intellect, so that, seeing the wisdom of my Son, he could recognise and understand my own will; for I am the giver of all graces and I give them with a burning fatherly love.

‘Moreover, I gave man the desire to love, sharing in the tenderness of the Holy Spirit, so that he might love the things that his intellect had understood and seen.

‘But my kind providence did all this solely that man might be able to understand me and enjoy me, rejoicing in my vision for all eternity.

St Catherine of Siena "On Divine Providence"

She says it so simply and so beautifully. Intellect, desire and memory - all gifts of God, given that we might be fully human, a little short of the angels. Why is it we misuse them so badly? The mind used to develop weapons that will destroy millions, desire to harm the innocent, memory to torture ourselves over our failings. The redemption of humanity needs the conversion of the whole person, not just the handing over of bits to our God. We cannot be partially baptised or partially dedicated. All for you, my God is the only credible response to this. Either that or try to walk away. But then comes that hound of heaven who seeks us out and pursues us in love. God will not let us go, because God loves us too much. Reassuring, isn't it?

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