After Peter got out of prison, God put him on the spot.
“During the night, an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out, saying, ‘Go, stand in the temple courts and tell the people the full message of this new life.’ At daybreak, the apostles entered the temple courts as they had been told and began to teach the people (Acts 5:19-21).”
I thought, okay, Ms. Good Christian Woman, what would you proclaim if an Angel told you to tell a crowd about what makes this life New?
“Ummm….Can I have a different question?
“My words couldn’t live up to the reality that every human being who ever lived has had every rotten thing they’ve ever done erased if they ask for it. Forever. And replaced by union with God Almighty as a free gift.”
The angel might clear his throat and say, “That’s not what I asked.”
“You mean what’s new for me?”
Okay, here goes: security and peace, even when I’m surrounded by turmoil—that’s New. Like Friday in the bank when I was clearing up some fraud on my debit card. After talking to five people at the bank, two in person and three by phone, telling my story to each one before they passed me on to someone else, I was on hold for the fourth time and annoyed at the same relentless song. I prayed a Hail Mary and thanked God for this moment with him. Big contrast with a bank-induced meltdown I had many years ago in a foreign country.
This New Life means that I’m free—I have a choice: to join forces with the prince of this world, the devil, who does nothing but carp that he’s not getting what he imagines he deserves, or turn toward “the words of eternal life” of the Prince of Peace.
In stressful moments why would I choose discontent over peace? I don’t know. I just do sometimes, or at least until I remember there’s a better way. And that better way is how I describe my New Life.
The New Life runs deep enough to be the source of New Actions, and it’s the new responses to old situations that show me that this improbable result has to have a supernatural source.
That’s where the virtues come in. Learning how gratitude, forgiveness, and patience make us like God—those virtues make the New Life possible.
If an Angel came to you, like he did to Peter, and said, “Tell them about your New Life,” what would you say? Scroll down and leave a comment—I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I am encouraged to rely on the Lord in times of trouble. Thanks for giving examples of virtues.
Thanks for sharing that, Ruth!
My reply would be like this, “Please wait, my life is not in tune yet with the gigantic task of preaching.”
“Silly rabbits” tickles my funny bone. Just read the good answer on The Catholic thing from Fr. Schall SJ from St Augustine: “Give what You command, and command what You will.”
God bless you.
My new life means respecting myself in small ways and large because the Lord loves me… not because I deserve it or because I have done anything to earn it, but because He loves me. Without Him, that was not the case.
Letting God’s love in — a beautiful way to discover our true value and worth.
VIA EMAIL from Marie:
Great week to you Rose, thanks for your upbeat message ?
One Day at a Time.
That phrase contains so much trust in God. Thanks for reminding us!
Mary Rose Knelly
I am not sure I would have the courage to stand in front of strangers and tell them about God and his neverending love. I can only hope I will grow into the faith I need to be so courageous!
Would it make you feel better to know that a friend who has been a cloistered nun for many years had the same comment? :)
Each night, I thank God for all the gifts and joys in my life. My life is far from perfect, but I tell Him that anything that is good in me is because of His grace. I also tell God that everything that is not good in me comes from me and the choices I make. I ask Him for patience and thank Him for loving me. Without God in my life, I am nothing.
How beautiful. Thanks for sharing that.
I’m realizing more deeply what it means that we have a Father, His Son, and Spirit that lives IN us and what He created us for. Truly astonishing things to contemplate and topics that we don’t know enough about.
That He created us to be like Him is truly astonishing. I read something just this morning by St. Didymus: “The Spirit frees us from sin and death, and changes us from the earthly men we were, men of dust and ashes, into spiritual men, sharers in the divine glory, sons and heirs of God the Father who bear a likeness to the Son and are his co-heirs and brothers, destined to reign with him and to share his glory.”
I am grateful, Rose, for all the time and knowledge you invested in planning for and leading our
Chapter Retreat. My goal in attending was to grow in my devotion to and faithfulness in
praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I thank you for creating an atmosphere that helped to make
my goal a reality.
May God bless you for all that you do for others.
My new life of forgiveness has lifted me out of guilt and worry. I feel lighter – I have been given the gift of lightness.
Great to hear. Jesus is all about forgiveness, but it can be so hard to follow Him in that. Thanks for your inspiring words and example.