Calling to conversion as expression of caring love of God
The tender love of God is expressed as our immersion in Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, in calling us to conversion and in putting God’s demands into our hearts, regardless of the fact that we are often broken and not ready. The Gospel calls us to the fullness of life, even when lost and immersed in corrupted behaviour. God’s calling to conversion is addressed to us to regain courage and try. God calls us, when we are often paralysed, depressed and bound by sins, memory, addictions, etc: “Get up, take your mat, and go home.” (Mathew 9:6)
God’s calling to conversion is, then, about the faith and hope God has in us, far deeper than our expectation, belief and imagination. God believes in us! To all of us St John, the apostle who experienced that truth, shouts out with joy: “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” (1 John 1:2-4)
God is begging us through St John: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
At this point, it is good to mention two compatible ways of being called to conversion: existence of our conscience, and existence of our priests. Both – conscience and priests – assist us in our journey to the homeland. They are an expression of God’s faith in us, His care and love. Both are supported by the Teaching of the Church, the Holy Scripture and Sacraments, Our Lady, Saints and friends from Purgatory, in leading us to heaven.
Conscience is a hidden sanctuary where God dwells and speaks to us. Conscience needs formation, though. God’s Ten Commandments and directions written in the Teaching of the Church (including the Scriptures) as well as the Mass and other Sacraments that are given to us to help our conscience to act correctly, to desire heaven and all God’s matters, to bring joy of life, to take care of others, to prevent us from the moment written in the Apocalypse that Jesus might spit us out of his mouth. (Apocalypse 3:15-16)
The vocation of a priest is not limited to being only a preacher, a good teacher, and a good and real leader. Christ comes to us in the priests’ ministry. It involves bringing Christ’s Sacrifice and makes us witnesses and partakers of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. In the Sacrament of Penance, for instance, the role of a priest is to make us witnesses of Christ’s life and teaching in practice, where the absolution of sins takes place. Priests as teachers, preachers, confessors of sins and spiritual directors need to be like surgeons working in an eye clinic. They need to be very patient, knowledgeable, precise and delicate. Sometimes, they need to bless us, sometimes they need to say: “repent!” In this way, they are great gifts from heaven to assist our ongoing conversion.