Today, Peter writes a beautiful, uplifting and instructive letter, providing a road map of how to live your faith. These words are worthy of hanging on your bathroom mirror so you can read them each morning:
“…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control,
self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion,
devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.” (2 Pt 1:5-7)
But Peter gives us another little gem that will help us in living this life of virtue. He says “…he [Jesus] has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises” (2 Pt 1:4)
Promises. Can you even count the number of promises made to you, or that you have made, left unfulfilled?
I have often given talks to groups of RCIA inquirers and others who question the validity of living a life of virtue. Hearing comments that it is too difficult in today’s cultural climate begs a response. Yes, it is difficult and is getting increasingly so. There are so many unknowns. My response? You are right about the uncertainties – but you must stand on the Promise of Jesus. Stand firm and hard on the Promise. Because unlike everyone else who will let you down after promises made, Jesus never will!
Just what were we promised? Indeed not riches or long life or even true love, rather, that living a life of virtue, according to the Way, will most likely give us, at times, a hard life. And in today’s world a life of ridicule and, yes, even hatred. The beauty beyond all this is that the real Promise of Jesus is Eternal Life, eternal joy! The real Promise of Jesus is peace in our hearts while dealing with the hardships of this world. The real Promise is that if we hold fast to the life of virtue, faith, and trust in God, no matter the consequence, He will be there holding our hand every step of the way. But we must be willing to take that hand and to be guided into the unknown. If we do less and let down our guard to give in to the world’s whims, we are saying that we don’t believe in the Promise, and, we are denying Jesus.
A beautiful but obscure poem titled “God Knows,” published in 1908, starts with some of the most inspiring words I’ve ever read.
“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied
‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’ So I went forth and, finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”
God Knows, Minnie Louise Haskins, British Poet (1875-1957)
Jeanne Penoyar, an Accounts Manager here at Diocesan, is currently a Lector at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Grand Rapids, MI. While at St. Thomas the Apostle, Grand Rapids, Jeanne was a Lector, Cantor, Coordinator of Special Liturgies, Coordinator of lectors and, at one time, chair of the Liturgy Commission. In a past life, secretary/bookkeeper at the Basilica of St. Adalbert where she ran the RCIA program for the Steepletown parishes. And she loves to write! When relaxing, she likes reading and word puzzles.