I'm struggling to reconcile some ideas in my head, maybe you can help me out.
As Christians, especially as Catholics, (and for me, most especially as a Catholic missionary,) we have to recognize the privilege of the call we have received and have responded to. God desires to spend eternity with all of His people and His charity always desires to accomplish that goal. At the same time, my specific call (the way the Lord wants me to get to Heaven) is different from the calling of every other one of God's people. This requires my own unique response.
As a missionary, I am required to make my best efforts to live excellence in every way possible. I must admit that I fail very frequently.
It is difficult enough to keep my own mind on God's will and to keep myself from the temptations of Satan, and the only way I can even begin to show others how to live out holiness is by God's grace.
While I'm desperately trying to live out holiness with charity, there are certain things that I must do and certain things I must not do. Of course, I must avoid sin at all cost, and all temptations to sin. (Nearly impossible, thanks to concupiscence, my own inclination to sin.) Simultaneously, I must go to the darkest places on earth (where the Resurrection of God Incarnate is not known), and bring light.
How do I, as a missionary, let my students (and family, and mission partners) know that I love them exactly how they are? I think that living in the world and being of the Kingdom will be my greatest challenge as a missionary.
Even now, I hear close friends and family say things like: "It was a good movie, but you might be offended," or "you wouldn't want to go (wherever) because of (whatever reason)." The truth is, I've been there, and I'm still there! I sometimes think inappropriate jokes are funny, and I like romantic comedies and reality television. (Sorry, Dr. Sri!) But I try my best to give up the good (or what my feeble senses think is good) for the better (according to God's will). I know that the Lord has a sense of humor, but more importantly I know that He desires for us only what is best.
I desperately want to love people the way God loves them, to meet them where they're at and show them a higher calling (to that of service to the Lord). I also want people to recognize my that my failures do not disqualify me from this calling, but that the Lord works through them for my own sanctification.
I'm not sure, I suppose I'm rambling at this point. How do I avoid sin without coming across as "holier than thou?" If you have any insight, I'd love to hear it!
In other news:
I've been praying and thinking frequently about employing higher faculties. If I want my intellect to rule, I have to exercise it most often. I think I can accomplish this by reading more, but it is difficult to use my brain when I'm not in school and not actively engaged in furthering my education. (I don't want my brain to turn to mush just because it is summer.) I have also been practicing a few daily sacrifices of my emotions and appetites in order to keep them in control. I hope this will help me in my quest for knowledge of the Lord.
Mission Partner Development is going much slower than I expected, but I appreciate all who have prayed for me and offered Mass and rosaries. I have a Parish Talk at St. Francis of Assisi in Grapevine next Saturday and Sunday, so keep the prayers coming!
I am eagerly counting down to my Texan departure for the cooler and friendlier Village on the Plains. I have less than two weeks to go and I can't wait for Auburn to be introduced to my sweet teammates, Michael and Brian! Get ready for an incredible year, Auburn!
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us!