Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." ~John 1:6

"Challenging and active, he stands before us, a type of the masculine mission in life. He is the stern herald who summons the people to metanoia: to a change of heart  or conversion. Anyone who wants to be a Christian must be constantly changing his thinking or outlook. By nature, we are inclined to be always asserting ourselves, repaying in kind, making ourselves the enter of attention. If we want to find God, we must be constantly undergoing an interior conversion, turning around and moving in the opposite direction, and this even in the way we understand life as a whole.

"Day in and day out, we are confronted with the world of visible things. So strongly and insistently does it impinge on us through billboards, the radio, commerce, and every incident of daily life that we are tempted to think nothing else exists. But in fact the invisible is greater and more valuable than all visible reality. According to a marvelous saying of Pascal, a single soul is worth more than the entire visible universe. But if we are to grasp this truth in a vivid way, we must be converted; we must, as it were, do an interior about-face, overcome the  the spell that visible reality casts over us, and acquire a sensitive touch, ear, and eye for the invisible. We must treat the invisible as more important than all the things that thrust themselves upon us with such force day after day. 'Be converted:' change your thinking, your outlook, so that you perceive God's presence in the world; change your thinking so that God may become present in you and, through you, in the world.

"John himself was not spared this difficult process of changing his mind-set, of having to convert, of undergoing what de Lubac calls 'the alchemy of being.' It already begins with his having to proclaim, as one crying in the wilderness, a man whom he himself does not know. Is it not the fate of the priest and of every Christian who proclaims Christ that we, too, know him and yet do not know him, that we, too, despite the darkness of our ignorance, must bear witness to him whom unfortunately we still know, and will always know, only too imperfectly."

~from Dogma and Preaching by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

St. John the Baptist, direct our hearts to true conversion;
direct our hearts to Him who alone can truly convert us
and make us forever glorious in His sight (Is 49:5).

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