Catholics, as well as a number of other Christian groups, rabbit on about salvation. We want to be saved! But what do I need to be saved from? I, like most people reading this, am not an axe murderer. I have committed no serious crimes. On the whole, I think I am a reasonably polite person, who does various acts of kindness and even occasionally takes the shopping trolley back to the right place. Underneath this sense of well-being I recognise that if sufficiently provoked, if sufficiently stressed, I may do something heinous. But I doubt that this is going to happen anytime soon.
And it is from this attitude that I need to be saved. There are people who need to be saved from serious sins and disorders that only the help of a higher power, to use the term of AA, can give. But people, like me, need to be saved from complacent goodness. The problem with complacent goodness is that it really isn’t good. It is like living on a diet of jelly beans and ice-cream, forever sitting in front of the TV. If we think goodness is niceness with cleanliness added, we don’t know what goodness is.
Goodness means being like God and that is open and loving to all people. Being good takes discipline and work. It is like eating a healthy diet and exercising hard. It takes us beyond ourselves into another realm of being. Here’s an exercise for bringing goodness into your life. Think of someone you seriously don’t like. Now list 10 good points about them, well, alright 5. Now imagine having a conversation with them, where you can affirm their good points and raise the areas where you disagree with them. For me, to be able to do that would take the grace of God. When I can do it, I will have been saved. Till then, I’ll keep praying for grace of God’s salvation.
Loving God, you offer to all people the gift of salvation.. Send us the wisdom of your Spirit that we may follow Jesus’ call to the fullness of life – love of you and each other. We ask this in his name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris