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9:47 AM   [02 Jul 2010 | Friday]

Letters to Jesus (Unhelpful Mindsets and Attitudes) -18

18.

 

 

 

Dear Jesus,

   Maybe the epitome of spiritual misdirection is the drive for eternal heavenly happiness. Letting go of this motivational force may, in fact, clear the path to loving union with You. I mean we should consider for a moment how obsessed we are with our own orientation to happiness in the single-minded pursuit of the “grand prize” in the “game” of life. Indeed, there is the very real possibility that we become so narrowly focused on getting to heaven that loving You is simply a by-product.

   In its proper perspective, getting to heaven is the by-product and one which we should not invest a life in attaining. If seen clearly, we’ll perceive the many facets of Your indescribable love, care and compassion for us and we’ll want to return, however feebly, that love to You. If we can get to this point, heaven has begun. This relationship is already something of heaven.

   It may be said that if one is seeking heaven, loving You is a very deep concern. This is true. But it’s backwards. I am not “straining gnats” when I say that the ultimate crown jewel of spirituality is not attaining heaven but loving You. There is a real distinction here that has to do with “giving” and “getting.”

   The difficulty might derive from the connotation of the words in the catechism’s answer to the question: “Why did God make me?” From an early age we learn the answer: “God made me to know, love, and serve Him in this world so that I can be happy with Him in the next.” The two subtly potent words (which I  would change) are “so that.”  Implicit in these two words is a cause and effect relationship by which the being happy with Him in the next life becomes the “End-all.”

   My perception is that the end-all should be the knowing, loving, and serving. My further perception is that we should delete the “so that” and simply insert “and.” Maybe that’s even been done in the new catechisms. I’m not sure. The point is that we can very easily enhance our spiritual journey by not putting the cart before the horse. If a doctor is concerned first with healing people and saving lives he does not dwell on the wonderfully large fees he’ll be paid later. This is a by-product. The focus of his efforts is life, not money.

   It’s all about giving, not getting.   Our concern for “getting to heaven” is a detour from the straight road.

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