Valley of Tears

(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)

There is a flaw in man that prohibits such perfection to be attained. It's called Original Sin. The world shook and rattled and was never the same after Adam and Eve ate the apple. Neither were Adam and Eve nor their descendants. Thankfully, God had a plan, and He sent St. John the Baptist. He only had one thing to do — a very specific vocation — to prepare the way for the Lord.

The idea is simple — make people realize that they have inherited original sin, have personally sinned, and that there is little chance of ever reaching the “end” of the road without the help of the Savior. The application is much more difficult. Actually convincing someone that they truly do need salvation is an entirely different matter altogether. Being devout and dedicated to his vocation, St. John prepared for Christ until they chopped off his head. Then the whole thing was turned over to Christ. You see, St. John just prepared, but it is Christ who re-shook the world on the Cross. The Baptist cleared the path, but Christ pressed the button that detonated the bomb which blew a hole in the mountain that was prohibiting us from getting to God.

Unfortunately, although Christ objectively re-made the road, things still seem to spring up which cause us to find ourselves in Donner Pass time and time again. That's when the message of the Baptist should resound in the depths of our souls. Sure, original sin is washed away in baptism, but we still sin. It's that nasty little thing called concupiscence. The cry of St. John still pertains to us. As we travel through life we need that reminder that we do need a Savior. We need to remember that there is one who will “baptize with the Holy Spirit.” We must get out of the way and allow Christ to raze the road ahead. We cannot do it on our own: no matter how much we make, despite the magnitude of our perceived intelligence, regardless of how many men we put on the moon. We need Him.

This is the initial step — get out of the way and let Christ do what He does. Otherwise we will miss the road entirely and struggle impotently through life. We need to periodically meditate on whether or not we are truly allowing Christ to direct and guide us. Three weeks remain until the celebration of the Birth of Christ and we ought to remind ourselves to take a good, hard look at whether or not we are moving out of the way so that when He arrives the road is clear and we are ready to follow Him to its supernatural end.

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