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The Gospel is not as much about worthiness as it is about surrender. What God wants from us is not a million acts of virtue, but a million acts of surrender, culminating in one massive surrender of soul, mind and body. When we have given up everything and are completely helpless to give ourselves anything, as we will all eventually be when we face death, then salvation can be given us.
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To be baptized into the church is to be a consecrated, displaced person. What is implied here? In John's Gospel, there is a revealing exchange between Jesus and Peter. Three times Jesus asks Peter: "Do you love me?" Three times, Peter replies that he does.
When one reads Helen Prejean's, Dead Man Walking, what is often lost in the sheer power of the story is what she recounts at the very end of the book and intends precisely as the real ending to the story. The book ends with the story of Lloyd LeBlanc, the father of the boy who was murdered, and his struggle to forgive his son's killer.
In the summer of 1985, I attended a church conference that brought together people from every continent on earth. In the group within which I was the recording secretary, there was a young nun from the Third World who was very much in the mode of Mother Teresa. She wore a traditional religious habit, had a deep life of prayer, went to Eucharist every day and nobody could have had the slightest doubt concerning her private moral life.