Living in Lava?

Around 5 or 6:00 am. you wake up and perk away a strong cup of coffee, coke, or whatever your wakeup beverage may be. Those still drowsy thoughts begin again to repeat themselves into your heart and soul as they have for years and how many unending years. Thoughts like “a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season,” and “a salt and empty earth.”

Hmmm, what a daily, usual, and predictable way to begin a new day preparing for work and life. Hopping in your car you flip around radio stations and catch someone talking about “the kingdom of God belonging to you,” the word “satisfaction” is used to reduce hunger and those weeping tears of yours suddenly turn to laughter.

With that still harboring “barren bush” living within you, you flip to the next station. Again you hear a different voice saying, “rejoice and leap for joy” when accused of honoring the Son of God. You think to yourself, ” Just like Elizabeth’s kid did in her womb upon seeing the Blessed Mother.” (You also think to yourself, “I need a new radio!”)

Another flip brings words of “Behold, your reward will be great in heaven” for living and sharing your faith both within yourself and in the lives of others. Turning the radio off seemed like a good idea but those words – words of life, love, and commitment – continue to sing their way into your heart and soul. Unlike those “saltless” words that so often creep into your head, heart, and soul. Get it!? Words of life “sing,” debilitating words only “creep” themselves to live within a creepy head.

Driving along you pondered if your wakeup beverage just wasn’t strong enough. Your head is now full of hearing words of wonder, joy, and dedication instead of that low life of living without salt, a life that has nothing to share, and a barren life where there is little or no pregnancy of joy, hope, and amazement.

We all know that it’s so much easier living a life of kinda waking up rather than living a full life that is fully awake to our beautiful Catholic faith.

St. Paul provides for us a class in Logic using reason. No resurrection? No Christ. No Christ? Faith is in vain. Those asleep through death? Perished. If only living this earthly life? Pitiable.

Forget about how you wake up still full of sleep wishing for one more hour of it. Take those voices in your head with “a grain of salt;” as little as what remains of salt in your head. And, do you really want to live and stand “in a lava of waste?”

Listen to those mysterious voices on the radio. Listen to their timeless messages timed exactly for our lives here and now. Outside voices that slowly become your voice. Your life. Your beliefs. Your behavior. Voices that speak of purpose and meaning (regardless of your situation or predicament), voices echoing God’s hope for you (not the unknown hope of the future but a hope that gets you to work today and to family and friends), voices that erase saltlessness and being sterile with experiences of fulfilling feelings even if they arrive in only small amounts. The Beatitudes provide us with divinely life-giving words – with all their contradictions -leading to a holiness that is the envy of those still asleep and wading their lives with surrounding lava. The promise of God, Son, and Spirit is to keep us always wide awake and alert for the Lord.

No matter what your morning beverage may be.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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