Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

10/29/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face -- Entrance Antiphon, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature: For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 460)

The Virgin Mary, whose life is the perfect model of Christian faith, travels before us in the reception of divine love as she is assumed into heaven.

The Virgin Mary, whose life is the perfect model of Christian faith, travels before us in the reception of divine love as she is assumed into heaven.


By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (

10/29/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: God's love, love of God, living the spiritual life, heaven, man's destiny, the goal of human nature, perfection, spiritual perfection, F. K. Bartels

GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) -- Given the difficulties which confront us daily, it is helpful to remember the many incomparable gifts that God has showered upon us, especially the supreme Gift above all gifts, his only Son who was sent "into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him" (Jn 3:17).

We must not, however, simply remember the gifts of God, but appropriate them to ourselves by entering into the life of God, by making the story of the life of Christ our own story. It is here, in this and this alone, living in and through and with Christ, that we find the realization of every hope, discover the treasure buried in the field (Mt 13:44), and begin to taste the kingdom of heaven which God freely gives to those who love him (1 Cor 2:9).

As important as it is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in healing, elevating and perfecting culture and the world, striving to live a life of fullness in the human community, united with our brethren everywhere, our primary concern is the next life. This is not to advocate a dismissive attitude toward the present; on the contrary, because of the promise of Christ and everlasting life we are moved to work all the more in order to build a truly Christian society. Nevertheless, heaven is our home: permanent, unending life with God is our goal -- that is our human destiny. God's call to humanity to embrace him with open arms as his children, receive divine love and attain our final home, is the story of human history. And it is the story of our future, provided that we give ourselves over to God.

Yes, heaven is your goal. And the reality of heaven is certain beyond any doubt because God himself has revealed it. This wondrous destination, one which is everlasting, immune from every threat and filled with unending delight, will not be had without commitment, labor, hardship and sacrifice, for as Christ reminds us in the Gospel, we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48). Given the difficulties human nature experiences, however, the life of perfection can seem an impossible task.

It is, then, easy to laugh at the idea. Achieve perfection? You're kidding, right? Impossible! And with that, many refocus their attention on worldly endeavors. Others, although they entertain for awhile thoughts of spiritual maturity, begin to imagine perfection as an unconquerable mountain, and dejectedly turn away, as if there exists not even a glimmer of hope. Still others rely on themselves, which is to guarantee failure.

Here we arrive at what might seem a paradox, although it is not. How can we be perfect, while yet we are sinners? Simply stated, we cannot be perfect unless God makes us so. It is only by God's grace that we are saved; it is through the Holy Spirit that we are re-created and made anew. It is through the communication of God's supernatural life to us that we are made members of the divine family. But God will not give us these incomparable gifts in spite of ourselves. Cooperation is a necessary component. Salvation is 100 percent God's work and 100 percent our work. Christ freely gives himself to us, but we must also freely give ourselves to him. While the indwelling Spirit is unceasingly present to those who are in a state of grace, such a gift of love cannot be one-sided. It is to be received with love. A loving relationship must be reciprocal. God says, "I am here." I respond, "Here I am Lord!"

The point is, you are not alone! That too, is the story of salvation history and therefore human history. God himself, in every case, tenderly and with compassion comes to our aid. There is great cause for hope, for Christ has promised himself to those who seek him. Pray! Seek God! Give yourself over to God, whose love, infinitely beyond the riches of the cosmos, will transform you into the person he desires you to be. God will do this for but one purpose only: goodness.

St. Jose Maria Escriva put it this way: "For a son of God each day should be an opportunity for renewal, knowing for sure that with the help of grace he will reach the end of the road, which is Love. That is why if you begin and begin again, you are doing well. If you have a will to win, if you struggle, then with God's help you will conquer. There will be no difficulty you cannot overcome."

For he who possesses God, every difficulty fades away in the light of heaven.

Let us pray:

O Lord, you are my strength, my salvation and my deliverer. You have set a golden shield in my hand and hung a breastplate of love about my chest. You walk beside me as my constant and everlasting protector, bedeck me with jewels, and bring me to drink from the well-spring of supernatural Love. You have anointed me with heavenly oil, set me amid unimaginable joy and gladness, and graced me with a share in your own divine life. I am yours forever and ever. Do with me as it pleases you, for in your will lies my eternal happiness. Amen.


F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows the Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at


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

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Year of Faith

Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man's self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches ... continue reading

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading

Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading

The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading

Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading

Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading

The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading

Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading

All Year of Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More