Conversion of our Spirit by Val Conlon
Our Personal Journey through Life
In life, each of us is engaged in a personal journey to save our soul, but it cannot be just about ourselves, it has also to be with our fellow man. It is, in effect, a group journey; a pilgrimage we are all on together, and while on this pilgrimage, we are responsible, as followers of Christ (Christians), to help others on that journey,who are struggling either materially or spiritually, for one reason or another.
We, each and together, stand before God, journeying through life, working to become spirit-filled, and spirit-like, and truly Christian. Thus, allowing God to judge all of us as one, through our works and prayers, which we offer up in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. In our spirit-filled moments, we try to be God’s compassionate creatures and we see with the eyes of the blessed, that we are truly one, and together, we are the image of God, who is one in us, so we must be one in Him.
Do Unto Others
The togetherness of humanity is vital for every Christian, for that is what Christian means. Yet, we know that many go through life focused only on self, on personal things, personal wealth, position, ego, or glory. There are many who think little or nothing about other people’s dilemmas, and ignore their responsibility as Christians to deal with what really matters in life. How will these selfish egotistical people, of which there are many, who call themselves Christian, feel in their last moments when they have to examine their conscience before God?
Man cannot afford to go through the journey of life with a heart that has shown nothing but selfishness and disregard for other human beings. A person who calls himself part of the Christian family, which is part of the oneness of humanity in the eyes of God, cannot be closed to other people’s struggles, other people’s poverty and other people’s misery.
The gifts God has given us
The question we must ask ourselves is, have we used the gifts given to us by God, to help others struggling on this journey, or by our indifference to others, neglected our Christian calling and failed to be part of the oneness of humanity as intended by the creator, for the salvation of the world?
The real poverty in life is not material poverty but poverty of spirit. The measure of a man in life is the measure of his compassion for others and this has an influence far beyond the one he helps, because the compassion of one man for another does not end there, as his actions always move the conscience of others to be compassionate in turn. In the final analysis, our life on earth will be judged by the richness of spirit we possessed, rather than the richness of material we accumulate.
God Plan to Forgive Us
The Catechism states that the Gospel is the revelation of God's Divine Mercy through Jesus Christ. The angel announced to St. Joseph, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) The same is true of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Redemption. Jesus said, “This is My blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:19)
God created us through the virtue of compassion and love, but our salvation depends on our compassion and love towards others. To receive His mercy, we must show it to others. But that alone is not enough if we offend Him in other ways. We must admit our faults. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. (1 John 1:8) We must always admit to our own sins, confess them, seek forgiveness and we will then receive affirmation and grace for our good works.
Conversion of our Spirit
As St Paul affirms, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”. (Romans 5: 20) But to do its work, grace will first make us aware of our sins, so as to convert our hearts and bestow on us eternal life through Jesus Christ. Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on our sins.
On our journey, we must also take part in spiritual works of mercy, helping people to come to God’s Divine Mercy. To help others to convert does not always mean converting from disbelief to belief. It can mean converting from a lukewarm inactive role in the faith to an active role, doing things by conviction rather than just by ritual.
Being Honest with Ourselves
Conversion requires first admitting to ourselves our sins. It means deep inner judgement of self and finding the Spirit in one’s inner most being. It then becomes the start of new grace within. You are bringing the Holy Spirit to life within yourself before attempting to bring it to others. Through this action you will receive the certainty of your redemption.
We must realise that sin is an offence against truth, reason and conscience. We must love God before anyone or anything else. Failure to love God first severely wounds the nature of man. It becomes a huge obstacle in the way of God's love for us and gradually turns our hearts away from him. However, at your darkest hour, love for Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross can become a source from which Divine Mercy pours forth and you are forgiven and saved.