My Theology - Rita Byrne - 11 Dec 01greenspun.com : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread
My theology is based on the faith I was born into, i.e. the Christian faith of the Roman Catholic Church. A near death experience at the age of seven made me aware of God, that he was for real, and the church was where he lived, if you like, in this world. I have always striven to live the Christian life, and to obey the teachings of the Church-even when the rules seemed too ridiculous. The theology I am writing about now is from my own experiences during the last twenty years or so, since I was first invited by the Lord, to follow him along the pathway of love.
When I first got my invitation, it took me some time to understand and, though I didn't really understand, I said yes, because the effect was of falling totally in love. In saying yes I understood I was giving over control of my life to God: until now I had been in control; with my 'yes' I gave control to him.
This way, that I continue on, is a way of learning, of broadening my vision, of seeing the pettiness and small-mindedness of human interaction when God is left out. It is getting to know him as he teaches us in the Gospels, and shows us his reflection in our world. It is to see the connectedness of his Word in scripture with human living; he is not a God of the past, or of the future: he is a God immersed in the here and now. It is through the experiences of my own life that he has taught me about himself.
Every experience I have had in the past years in dealing with my family, at work, prayer or home, especially the situations that were painful, I always see that he too has had that experience. He is the God of all experience... I now know there is no suffering, no matter how unjust or awful it is, that is as painful or searing in mind or body as God's suffering is. I also know that to be invited to share this with him is a great privilege-one nobody earns. As I go this way, learning to appreciate life, becoming more aware of the dignity of human beings, I begin to realise that all that we have is gift, so we cannot make demands or insist we be treated this way or that; when everything becomes a privilege nothing is insignificant (I'm not saying I always live up to this...)
The following is what I have learned as I struggle along my path
My miserable terrified pride
My small-mindedness and meanness
My rejection and pain
His great unmerited suffering
His enormous humility
His depth and generosity
His rejection and pain
His faithful love
My nothingness without God's love
My soul shattering, unable to hold the Grace being poured into it
My brokenness as depicted by the two sons in the parable of the prodigal son
The inability of my sinful self to approach the sinless one
The chasm between God and I that could not be crossed
The awful impasse between us
The sinless one's offer to save me by his cross
My refusal to be saved in this way
My realisation: there is no other way!!...
My reluctant acceptance saying, 'I will be forever miserable in heaven'
An offer to let me share my own salvation with him
My acceptance, wondering how it is possible to share in something that happened 2000 years ago.
-- Anonymous, December 11, 2001