Pope Francis knows what a supreme con artist Satan is. Earlier this week he said, “Satan always rips us off, always!”
The Holy Father described an enemy of God who encourages people to look out for themselves. Whether they realize it or not, this habit leads to more isolation, more loneliness, and eventually lovelessness.
It isn’t difficult to imagine…the opposite of eternal life with God? A lonely, loveless world.
At the end of our lives, will we come to find that –in paying such special attention to our needs– we have crafted our very own coffin? Will we have created an existence for ourselves in which love and others are obsolete? Where we have insulated ourselves from the needs of others?
As God’s children He gives us the opportunity to get used to things that are unnatural for us. We have the opportunity to become familiar with GIVING, which is God’s way, not our way. Even for a child, taking a toy instead of surrendering it to a playmate is more often the natural response. When the unnatural becomes natural, it’s pretty supernatural!
Perhaps we are supposed to get used to this idea of COMMUNITY, because the community is the gift in the end. God is a community of three and life with Him is life in this community. “For in Him, we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
In the book Lamb’s Supper, Dr. Scott Hahn talks about how the Mass is a glimpse into heaven, where Jesus is glorified and the angels are constantly in a state of praise. When we sing the Eucharistic acclamation during the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, we join with the angels and get to partake in a piece of timelessness. We are for a moment standing in glory in a community of believers.
So if heaven is like a never-ending Mass, how many people are in a hurry to get there? I used to imagine heaven would be a lot like the Hershey commercial with the chocolate villages and the chocolate streams. But I think Pope Francis is pointing to something different than a chocolate city.
Maybe God is giving us some time to come to a place in which PRAISING GOD incessantly like the angels in heaven becomes more natural than unnatural…more than just something we fit into our lives on Sunday. In the meantime, It’s hard but I will try to avoid the free chocolate and seek the genuine article.