Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/20/2012 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Cleaning out garages is a metaphor for so much more. Cleaning out the house within is an even greater challenge.

We were created, and re-created in Christ, to become a dwelling place for God. We therefore need to make room for Him, to clear out the clutter which arises over the years and has the tendency to distract us from what really matters.

We were created, and re-created in Christ, to become a dwelling place for God. We therefore need to make room for Him, to clear out the clutter which arises over the years and has the tendency to distract us from what really matters.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/20/2012 (4 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you....Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." (Jesus, St. John, Chapter 14)

"God built heaven and earth to be the dwelling place of the human race. But He also built the human body and soul to make them his own abode, so that He might dwell therein and rest there as in a well kept house..." (Pseudo Macarius. 4th Century)

"The Spirit is the place of the saints and the saint is the place of the Spirit" (Basil of Caesaria)

It is a beautiful Sunday here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. I will soon attempt to clean my garage. As has been the case for many, many years and in several homes, I have put the task off for far too long. Sound familiar? I procrastinate both because it is an unpleasant experience and, in my case, because it involves sorting through boxes of materials, some of which contain disappointing and painful experiences out of my past. I would rather not revisit them. However, with the continued "encouragement" (I am being diplomatic) of my dear wife, I will finally undertake the task.

It will be, as it always is, cathartic. There is much that is "new" beginning in our life together. I know that unless I clear out what we have accumulated from the past, and make room, there will also be no place to hold what is needed for the next chapter. Cleaning out garages is a metaphor for so much more. Cleaning out the house within is an even greater challenge. However, failure to do so carries with it much more of a consequence. After all, the Christian vocation is always a call to make room for God.

We were created, and re-created in Christ, to become a dwelling place for God. We therefore need to make room for Him, to clear out the clutter which arises over the years and has the tendency to distract us from what really matters. We have so many helps, such as the examination of conscience and the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to assist us in the task. All of the resources of the Church are there to help us to fulfill our Baptismal vocation to live in God, for God and, with God, for the world.

The call to develop a life of prayer and dialogue with God in a communion of love is forever challenging. It requires our continual response to His continual invitations. It also entails "cleaning out the garage" at times, cleaning out the place within, where God wants to come and dwell. He deserves the best of quarters, emptied of anything that will compete with His residency.

Jesus told us that we are to be the "salt of the earth" (Mt. 5:13). He warned that salt can lose its savor. When it does, it no longer seasons or preserves. Our capacity to love God, and in Him, to love those around us, expands as we empty ourselves of the unnecessary "stuff" that we accumulate in this pilgrimage of life. This is part of the reason why confession and authentic repentance are so important if we hope to progress in an interior life and cultivate a vibrant relationship with the God who comes to dwell within.

Lethargy of soul or "luke-warmness" in the spiritual life, in the words of one of my favorite priest writers, Father Fernandez, "gives up at the slightest difficulty" and "makes mountains out of molehills". "Love for God, on the other hand" the good priest writes "makes a molehill out of the mountain."

When we clean out the house within, we make more room for the presence of God. He comes and lives within, transforming us by His Spirit and expanding our capacity to love. Let us make room for God.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for NOVEMBER 2016
Universal:
Countries Receiving Refugees: That the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity.
Evangelization: Collaboration of Priests and Laity: That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.



Comments


More Lent / Easter

Did you know the Catholic Church has a birthday? Watch

Image of Pentecost is widely considered the birthday of the Catholic Church.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We're all familiar with our own birthdays, and we celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. ... continue reading


8 thought-provoking Easter quotes to inspire Watch

Image of Easter is more than eggs and bunnies.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to gather together to party! Regardless of how you celebrate Easter, don't forget the real reason for the holiday. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of ... continue reading


'The Easter message of the risen Christ': Listen to Pope Francis' Easter Mass Watch

Image of Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Mass and focused on Christ and refugees (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff stood before the packed square to speak of Jesus ... continue reading


Missing The Point of Easter Watch

Image of Alex Basile [not pictured] is the Religion Department chair at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY. He has written nine books for Saint Pauls/Alba House. www.alexbasile.net

By Alex Basile

Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading


He Has Truly Risen, We Are Free From Fear Watch

Image of The Tomb is empty!

By Fr. James Farfaglia

With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted.  When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading


HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: 'Make Sure He's Dead' Watch

Image of God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear

By Fr. Randy Sly

Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading


Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross Watch

Image of Benedict says,

By Michael Terheyden

Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading


Good Friday: The Church Born From the Wounded Side of Christ Pauses at the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading


All Lent / Easter News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
19 Yes, people of Zion living in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh -- it is good to sing psalms to our God -- how ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:35--10:1, 6-8
35 Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 3rd, 2016 Image

St. Francis Xavier
December 3: St. Francis Xavier was a Navarrese-Basque Roman ... Read More