Posts tagged victory
Pursuing Victory

I had one goal when starting out this series of posts - to end the Catholic love affair with suffering, at least in the minds of some. In this final post (4/4), I want to focus on how to live a victorious Christian lifestyle. This is not a formula - all of this must flow out of a living, breathing relationship with Christ - but is meant to provide certain guideposts for pursuing the victory that Jesus has already won and wishes to extend to us.

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Suffering: Part of God's Plan?

Go ahead and re-read the Gospels. Keep a tally if you want. See how much it portrays the triumph of Christ over what afflicts man, over what steals, kills, and destroys in man's life, versus how much it talks about the need to embrace suffering in our life. (Post 3/4 on suffering.)

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The Clash of Two Kingdoms

Jesus instructed his disciples, "As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons" (Mt 10:7-8).  The declaration that the kingdom of heaven is at hand was meant to serve as an eviction notice to the kingdom of darkness - your time is up, it's time to move out! (Post 2/4 on suffering.)

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Ending the Catholic Love Affair with Suffering

There is a place for taking up one's cross in the Christian life.  There are times when, like a good soldier, we need to accept our share of hardship for the sake of the Gospel.  The Bible couldn't be clearer about this. And yet, as one preacher put it, "In the church there is an admiration for pain and suffering that goes far beyond what the Bible ever intended." Whether or not this is a uniquely Catholic problem, this is indeed a Catholic problem.  There is a cultural fixation on the value of suffering that results in obscuring other Christian values, and one value in particular - the value of victory. (Post 1/4 on suffering.)

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