Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Daily - 9/2/08

Romans 12:1-2

1 I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.

2 Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

This was the second reading at Sunday’s mass. I’ve sent this out before, but I thought it was worth repeating.

Verse 2 describes discerning God's will. This is a key element in spiritual development -- to be able to understand what God is asking us to do. How do we go about doing that?

Verse 2 says that to discern the will of God, we must allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewal of mind. OK, how do I go about doing that?

I submit that part of the answer is verse 1 - submit our bodies as a living sacrifice, wholly and pleasing to God.

OK, how do I do that?

In my opinion, this means several things:

- Put sin to death as best we can by committing to obedience and remaining in Christ. Why? We know that sin is offensive to God, and if I don't make that commitment, I don't think I can be a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.

- Receive the sacraments of eucharist. There is no better way to transform ourselves than by inviting the Lord to transform our bodies.

- Receive the sacrament of reconciliation frequently. It is the tried and true process for putting sin to death. As we become more aware of our sins and confess them to God's minister we put sin to death in our lives. The process of confession, absolution, and penance separates us from sin and opens us up to the Spirit.

- Give control of our lives over to God. Paul tells us to offer ourselves as a sacrifice, which means we are transferring "ownership" to God. If you're unwilling to make this step, you're never going to be able to be transformed the way Paul is describing.

In my opinion, understanding these points are key to moving toward the abundant life that Christ offers to us.