“She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:21
There is an oped in USA today: Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental
In simply reading the title of the article, I laughed. Win you back? You have already been won by our Lord. Its up to you to return to your first Love.
Love does not demand to be won back. He is there for the taking. If you desire Him, you can have Him and He will not demand you do. The title of this article reads like a typical “Hollywood” movie. It reeks with pride. Win you back? You are free to leave and you are free to return. Our faith is not some romance novel where you are being chased by that guy who goes out of his way and goes your way, changing everything about Himself to make you love Him, while you are playing hard to get. Not even close. He created you. It is you who have walked away from Him.
Playing hard to get never works with our Lord because He allows you to stay away. Its called Free Will. Its up to you to desire Him. If one is not attracted to our Lord himself, in His fullness, what’s the point of coming at all? People are judgmental about everything we do. Humility allows us to overlook rash judgement, and stay in Love with Him, no matter what anyone else says. Its called fortitude. Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.” “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
These very souls who do persecute us, in even the smallest ways, help us to see the reality of our OWN overblown egos. But this is not something that can be overcome with self pride. If I hold the attitude that I am the best thing our Lord could ever imagine, I have puffed up my own ego and placed myself on His throne, and Him below myself.
What is it that causes souls to return to the Church? Is it the events? Is it the groups? Is it the bands? If it is, those same souls quickly become bored and look for some other group, event and band elsewhere. Because its not the FULLNESS of our Lord.
Our Lord called me to Himself. What does that mean? It means I had to make a LOT of very important decisions. Do I stay in a really bad abusive relationship with the world, where I lived the life of illusion or “Follow Him”. In making the free choice to “follow Him”, I chose obedience to Him. I came home for Him. Many things stand in our way when we do this. But those things are always interior struggles that seek to ruin this new relationship with our Lord, the same way a jealous old interest tries to draw you back into that toxic relationship you once had, filling you up with false promises and things you always wanted, because you were “comfortable” in it.
God’s house is very inclusive, but the issues come when we demand God to change to suit our needs and not the other way around. We are called to accept Him as He Is. Not how we perceive Him to be.
A question we all need to ask ourselves is this. What do I desire? When we desire just Him, everything in Him comes with Him.
Lets go back now to the woman who just desired to touch the hem of our Lord’s cloak. Did she stay away and demand our Lord come to her? Did she place limits on Him? If He only comes to me and touches the hem of MY dress, I will follow him… No. It was her decision. And what a decision that was she made.
Never allow our Lord to be the one that got away as He is the only Way, the Truth and the Life. No games. He is True Love.