Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mary, Angels and Human Sin, Part Two

In the last post I considered some painful truths of our faith, but it is better to grapple with them and internalize them now rather than wait till death and finally see our sins as God sees them.  Despite our obstinacy and self-conceit, God has an unimaginable love for us, and a wish to pour his mercy upon us.  In fact, his mercy is super-abundant precisely because he knows our weakness and that the deck is stacked against us.  If we didn't have an uphill climb due to the weakening effects of original sin, the manipulations of demons and the lures of a disordered world then God's mercy would not be so great.  Just ask the demons, who did not have the refuge of God's mercy once their powerful angelic nature preferred rebellion and evil.

God's love and mercy is our source of hope, but there is yet another reason for joy.  God's providence so governs the world that He brings about his kingdom even in the midst of our weakness.  Two years ago I was walking through my hard-scrabble neighborhood, and I apologized to my guardian angels for having to accompany me day-by-day as I give in to sloth, gluttony and a spirit of judgment.  I've often repeated that refrain in the past, but this time the angels answered! In a tone of gentle correction, they said, "Oh no!  There's nowhere we'd rather be!"  Then I felt their deep delight and joyful zeal in serving as my guide.  I was floored.  It was a wonder: how could they have such delight in accompanying me, and in this neighborhood?!?  There's a lesson there.  Weakness and evil do not have the last word.  While it is a mark of the blessed to have sorrow for sin, there are also greater things at work.  The angels see the workings of grace that are all around us while we only see scattered fragments.  Angels haven't seen the whole story of the future, but they have seen God's perfect plan unfold in countless eras and across countless cultures.  They see how God has his hands on all things, and if we could only see it we would marvel at God's wisdom and perfection.  Blessed be the Lord!

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