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On The Passage From St. Mark’s Gospel 8:35-37

August 1, 2011


“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it . What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life?”




These are the words St. Ignatius of Loyola told who would become St. Francis Xavier when he was going to leave after curfew at the University of Paris to go party. I can’t get these words out of my head and so I thought I would try to write on these verses from Scripture.


Yes, what would a man profit if he gained the whole world but lost his soul? Would he be truly happy or at rest within his heart?


Our hearts are already restless because we do not yet rest in God; but if a man gave up being with God and went to be with false gods of this world; he would be so restless; once he thought he had everything and then he had to get something else and then another thing and would never stop until it killed him from within to the outside. Why do we chase after things of this earth or want to be with certain people; when we know deep inside of us God is telling us “no, that is not what I have in-mind for you and come rest in my heart for all eternity and not seek after vain treasures and pleasures and company.”


From the lives of the saints, we can know they went through this trial; seeking the world rather than lose their life for the Gospel; but God allowed them to hit bottom and then showed them through their mothers, fathers, both, Holy books and Holy Scripture on the true way of Peace and how to arrive and enter into God’s heart to rest.


But, why do we seem to keep running in the direction of the world and listening to what they want us to do; rather than listening to our Holy Father and to the Church? The world says cohabitation is a must and the Church says no, you can’t live together until you are married; man and woman. The world says: “go test out your relationship by having sexual relations.” The Church says: “no! sexual relationship must only happen during the marriage act of making the child.” The world says: “yes, go have an abortion and use contraception; because you can’t get a job while you are with child; it will be impossible and so get rid of the mistake.” The Church says: “no, abortion and contraception is a grave immoral act by preventing life and killing of an innocent child. The child is a gift from God; given to the parents to raise and to be taught the Catholic Faith and return him or her back to God as a saint with God’s help.”


The world has a contrary message to everything the Church says. Why do we sometimes keep running towards the world? It is so hard to hear God in the culture we have, everything is so noisy inside and out, afraid of what our so-called friends will say when they see us practice our faith or afraid of what people might say who are around us.


That is the answer, we are afraid to give up the world because we don’t have the courage a Christian should have every moment of our life and so we are afraid of giving up the worldly life and we don’t have complete trust in God; if we did; more Catholics would be living the faith, standing up to these anti-God laws of abortion and contraception and so-called homo-sexual marriage and all the rest and voting against them and voting to protect marriage as one man and one woman and outlawing anything contrary to it and outlawing abortion and contraception and outlawing porn and all the other harmful things in this world.


To remove the image of the Crucified One; is just removing His image but He is always there and can see what we are doing. So, when the world says to remove His image; they forget that by removing His image; you can never remove Him; because He’s always there and sees what we are doing.


Is it worth loosing one’s life for the entire world?


What is there to gain by gaining the whole world? All the vain pleasures, vain riches, vain complements, vain rewards, vain everything. Nothing of this world will make us happy; truly happy. The world will give us vain joys and vain happiness at times to make us seem joyful for a few moments or days but then it goes away.


How long till we find that vain happiness or vain joy? A day, month, a week, a year or longer and how long does it last? Moments, days, weeks, months, years? Sometimes all of the above.


You truly can tell if the joy and happiness comes from God; because it never goes away and even when you are having a bad day; you still smile and laugh sometimes. Your heart feels like it could explode by the feeling of it expanding in your chest; what a feeling that is. I felt it twice: once when I was in fifth grade when God started to lead me through all those curves to where He wants you and in fifth grade I thought I met who I would spend my life with; her and I was always together; always laughed and smiled; the feeling of joy and happiness never left that entire school year; until the end of the school year when we had to break up because of something we should have waited for marriage to do. Then the second time; more around the curvy, bumpy road we are in that God leads us; was when I came home from my first year of college and decided not to return and return to my faith; one because I was scared to death to return; because I got robbed and may have become worse if I returned. So I read this book by Matthew Kelly Rediscovering Catholicism and I read it in a few days and spent nights in my chair reading and after I read it; I knew my answer from when our priest was used by God to ask me to become a priest when I was six years old and the answer was yes.


Talk about joy and happiness from Heaven, I was so excited when I started to hear what I needed to do; study and get a good prayer life. My first book I bought was City of God by St. Augustine of Hippo; then my friend came home from Kentucky; where the Fathers of Mercy is located and gave a Parish Mission and we had a nice talk; he told me about Blessed Pope John Paul II and how he goes to Confession every week. At the time I was going every month at First Friday; once I started to know what the Church wants in music and everything; I decided to go to our parish just down the road from our house and they have Confession every week and I go every week before Sunday Mass. I love going to Adoration; if I can; if I’m allowed in the church.


The curves of the road and the bumps; you have to make sure you don’t fly over the edge when you are on the curves; because then it will mean time for Confession because of major sins and I did fly off the edge a few times and sometimes I fall off too; but I pull myself up with God’s help and go to Confession to get all cleaned and healed up. His love and mercy is wonderful.




But, I also sometimes and most of the time do fear about giving up the way of the world for the same reason. We must ask for God to give us the courage and trust we need to follow Him without becoming afraid. I love this passage from Mark’s Gospel and it is a gift I heard that if a passage speaks to you and you remember it.


If we are trying to trust in God by ourselves; we will fail; because we are a fallen nature; because of Original Sin. We need God to help us and we need to be His child and allow Him to help us in everything we do; just like St. Therese of Liseux said, “How am I to get up to Heaven because I am so small? I know I will be like a little child and have God carry me up to Heaven.”


Why must we become like a little child in our faith? Well, the faith of a child is so simple and pure and their prayers are so wonderful. Plus they don’t mind having people help them. We are not to become childish or prideful but child-like in a simple and pure faith a child has.


But also to be learned to be able to teach and spread the faith and to defend it; but child-like. To lose our life for His sake and the sake of the Gospel; we must become like a child when something becomes to hard for them to do; they ask their dad or mom or both to help them finish whatever it is they were told to do. We do not become prideful and say no to help but we become humble and ask them to help us when we need help and we must become like a child and ask God to help us give up our own life for Him and the Gospel and ask Him every day or every moment to help us to become a saint.


I would like to close with a prayer by St. Augustine of Hippo from his book The Confessions:


“Great are you, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise, your power is immense, and your wisdom beyond reckoning. And so we humans, who are a due part of your creation, long to praise you-we who carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin and with it the proof that you thwart the proud. Yet these humans, arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our hearts is unquiet until it rests in you.”







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