The only sin is failing to trust God

Holiness means abandoning yourself to God. If we look at the life of any saint and ask what makes him/her a saint, we will always find it is because they handed themselves over to God, placing themselves in His hands and not their own. This abandonment of self is what drove St. Francis’s poverty, St. Ignatius’s obedience, St. Therese’s confidence, the chastity of the holy virgins, the courage of the martyrs, Mary’s fiat, and Jesus’s whole life and death upon the cross.

I don’t think there is anything more to it. We must abandon ourselves entirely to Him: our desires, our wills, our happiness, our security, our struggles, our fears, our loved ones, our futures, our pasts, our weaknesses, our strengths, our ideas, our beliefs, our good deeds, our sins, our salvation, and our everything else. That is it. Everything else is contained in this.

If we fail, then we must get up right away, and hand this failure over to Him also. We have to entrust to Him our failures to trust Him. Place everything right away in the hands of His merciful love.

And if we fall greatly, over and over again, we still can’t be discouraged. The only sin is failure to trust God. His mercy is always greater; He is always trustworthy; He is our Father, and we are His children.

In this self-abandonment, we are surrendered to God’s love for us revealed upon the cross, and we are united to Jesus’s total abandonment to the Father upon the cross.

God bless you!

The Foolishness of the Cross

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. [1 Cor 1:17]

I’ve been meditating on this passage lately (and the rest of the chapter too). I consider myself a bit of a philosopher, so I have found this a little challenging. The cross cannot be made sense of by our philosophies. But in that case, how can we make sense of the cross?

We can’t. The cross cannot be made sense of, because it is pure revelation. It will make sense of everything else, but nothing will ever make sense of the cross. It is a new light, the Lumen Fidei, and nothing else can possibly illuminate this light brighter than light. It must be accepted or rejected in and of itself.

We know the great truth, that Jesus Christ died for love of us, and love of the Father, and for the Father’s love for us. And we could not possibly arrive at this if it were not given to us. That God would die for sinners is insanity, and nothing less. Divine love follows a logic that is illogical to the world.

Every attempt to explain the cross within a reasonable system will be a denial of the cross. All we can do allow the cross, the revelation of Love, to reveal itself to us, and everything else with it.

For this reason, Christians will always be aliens in the world. We will use a different logic. We will speak a foreign language – the language of the cross. Our lives will be upside down. If not, we are not Christians. We must be mad, just as our crucified God is madness itself, and the world will be astounded.

(drawing by St John of the Cross)

And time after time, we will see the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ revealed in our flesh.

God bless you!

Nothing to say

I really like writing my various thoughts on this blog, but often, including now, it doesn’t feel like I have anything to say. I want to reveal something profound, or deep, or life changing, but it all seems to be simple to me for once.

The gospel is the gospel. The faith is the faith. God is God. There’s no need for my insight. All we need is right in front of us.

It’s nice to realise that my religion doesn’t need me. I don’t need to add anything new. There is no secret ingredient.

This isn’t to say I won’t be writing again. Just that I have no need to write anything new or original.

In fact, if I were to be new or original (regarding the faith), I would only be diverging from the truth, and bringing about corruption and confusion and misery. On the other hand, if I merely stick with the faith, I may end up being swept up in the eternal newness of the Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New. Like every sunrise, breaking out as though it were its first time. Or every blossoming flower in every new spring. Or every newborn’s first cry.

The gospel is simple. Don’t overthink it. Just listen to it, live it, and let it transform you.

God bless you!

The Continual Touch of Jesus


‘The Church, like every family, passes on to her children the whole store of her memories. But how does this come about in a way that nothing is lost, but rather everything in the patrimony of faith comes to be more deeply understood? It is through the apostolic Tradition preserved in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit that we enjoy a living contact with the foundational memory. What was handed down by the apostles — as the Second Vatican Council states — “comprises everything that serves to make the people of God live their lives in holiness and increase their faith. In this way the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes”.

‘Faith, in fact, needs a setting in which it can be witnessed to and communicated, a means which is suitable and proportionate to what is communicated. For transmitting a purely doctrinal content, an idea might suffice, or perhaps a book, or the repetition of a spoken message. But what is communicated in the Church, what is handed down in her living Tradition, is the new light born of an encounter with the true God, a light which touches us at the core of our being and engages our minds, wills and emotions, opening us to relationships lived in communion. There is a special means for passing down this fullness, a means capable of engaging the entire person, body and spirit, interior life and relationships with others. It is the sacraments, celebrated in the Church’s liturgy. The sacraments communicate an incarnate memory, linked to the times and places of our lives, linked to all our senses; in them the whole person is engaged as a member of a living subject and part of a network of communitarian relationships. While the sacraments are indeed sacraments of faith, it can also be said that faith itself possesses a sacramental structure. The awakening of faith is linked to the dawning of a new sacramental sense in our lives as human beings and as Christians, in which visible and material realities are seen to point beyond themselves to the mystery of the eternal.’
Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith) n.40

The Church, with its magisterium and sacraments, doesn’t keep us at arms length from the revelation of Jesus Christ, but brings us into direct, personal contact with him!

The good news isn’t something to be read in the papers, analysed, discussed, accepted and set aside, but a person, our Lord Jesus Christ, to encounter in his fullness, more intimately than we encounter anyone else in the world. But more than two thousand years after his birth, how are we meant to encounter him? Is it only through speaking to him in prayer, and reading about him in the scriptures? No disrespect to prayer and Bible study, but wouldn’t this make him a bit of cell-phone-saviour? A saviour you’ve never met “in person”, but have spoken with long distance. Of course, long distance relationships are wonderful, but the dream is always to be closer, more intimately with our Beloved.

Thank God for His Church and His holy sacraments! By these means (and more), Jesus Christ is always readily present to us, to teach, guide, cleanse, heal, forgive, strengthen, nourish, enlighten, refresh, rejuvenate, correct, sustain, and redeem us. He has not left us orphans, but is with us always, even until the end. The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is with us, body and blood, soul and divinity, at all times.

Sola scriptura is a bit like refusing to listen to the king’s ambassador, because you read his (authorised) biography, and he can call or write you himself. The king has an ambassador, because he wishes to have a personal, authorised, representative with you, so that you can know his thoughts on all matters. The ambassador has lived with the king his whole life, and was there from the beginning. The king’s ambassador does not distance you from the king, but reveals him to you more perfectly. As a matter of fact, the king’s ambassador is also his wife.

And to stay away from the sacraments is a bit like a person in love, preferring to just speak over the phone (and it is tough to listen and easy to get distracted while on the phone).

In our life in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, we are members of the one believing subject, present throughout all of Christ’s mysteries. We are part of the body of believers, present throughout Jesus’ ministry, in the Upper Room at Pentecost, and who all of the epistles are addressed to. We are living in the realities of the Bible! As I wrote here, about my first time visiting mass,

I remember noticing, that I had a wonderful feeling throughout, after the fear passed, that I had only ever had while reading the Bible. It almost felt like I was in the Bible.

God bless you in abundance!

P.S. If you haven’t yet read Lumen Fidei, do. Here’s a link. It’s so good. I suspect it’s especially wonderful in part because it’s the product of not just one Pope, but two.

Revolution is cool


The idea of revolution is cool. Fact. It’s the life of secret struggles and incredible endurance through terrible suffering, to transform the world. The poor, the weak, the rejects, the outcast, the idealists, fighting against the powerful people who made the status quo what it is. Discussing utopias while hiding underground. Constantly losing and never giving up. Knowing that the day of the revolution could be just a day away. To me, this sounds like living.

Of course, I’m falling into the mistake of romanticising something incredibly bleak. Revolution would be torture. Keeping secrets, enduring suffering, to transform a stubborn world. Failing to motivate the oppressed to stand up for their rights, because of fear and ignorant loyalty. Discussing surrenders and negotiations while awaiting capture. Constantly losing, and fighting to stay true to the cause, even as comrades abandon. Questioning if the revolution will ever come. Yes, this is a constant dying.

Still, I am captivated by the idea, and I like to hope I’m not alone in this. I believe that the radical life is the only life that makes any sense. I don’t want to do anything by halves.


I hope at this point you’ll see the remarkable parallels between the revolutionary life and the gospel life (particularly under persecution). Saints and revolutionaries require faith. It’s precisely their stubborn faith that makes revolutionaries, and in my opinion, saints, so cool. A faith that sees life as it is and life as it is meant to be and trusts that it can be as it should be. A faith that changes their lives and gets them dirty, taking them to and through the barracks, the slums, the battlefields, the prisons, the trials, and finally, the public executions.

‘I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.’
Che Guevara (d.1967)

‘Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.’
Che Guevara

‘Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.’
St. Ignatius of Antioch (d.107)

Today, faith is often considered as something timid. Something for old people who are afraid of change and afraid of death. Something akin to a comfort blanket. It has apparently been forgotten as the fire that Jesus brought to the world. I could say how the gospel is revolutionary, but I’d rather say how the saints are revolutionaries.

St. Anthony of Egypt sold all he owned to live on his own in the desert with God.

Bishop Oscar Romero died for his public defence of the rights of the poor and oppressed.

St. Moses the Black turned from a life of murder and robbery to become a forgiving monk, and when he later heard the monastery was going to be attacked, he forbade its defence, and waited to greet the attackers with open arms, and so died.

The Church, when and where under persecution, secretly preaches a message of radical love, equality, and self-sacrifice and built up the Kingdom of God among us.

St. Maximilian Kolbe provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including hiding 2,000 Jews from the Nazis, before being arrested by the Gestapo and taken to Auschwitz. There he died, offering his life in the place of Franciszek Gajowniczek’s.

Peter Maurin and Servant of God Dorothy Day committed their lives to serving America’s poorest, fighting against oppression, and building an alternative, gospel centred society.

St. Therese of Lisieux had a relatively uneventful life, but was completely committed to perfectly loving God in simplicity, and her autobiography, Story Of A Soul, has inspired millions.

The martyrs accepted torture and death to remain faithful.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta dedicated her life to being the servant of India’s very poorest and neediest.

St. Francis of Assisi began a life of radical poverty, and crossed enemy lines in the fifth crusade in an attempt to convert the enemy Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt, or receive martyrdom trying.

St. Mary gave birth to God, and perfectly gave her entire life to the Son of God, and said,

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.

God Himself, was born into poverty, laid in a manger, fled a murderous regime while still a child, touched (and cured) the untouchable, associated with prostitutes, sinners, tax collectors and outcasts, and went to death as a common criminal upon the cross.

I believe that Jesus Christ can only be understood as a revolutionary, but on a far greater scale. Overthrowing death for life, darkness for light, indifference for love, pride for humility, fear for hope, servitude for freedom, domination for service, hatred for peace, judgment for mercy, and separation for communion.

‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple… So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.’
-Jesus (Lk 14:26-27,33)

God bless you

P.S. If I’ve missed any great ones, please share in the comments about the incredible saints I’ve missed out, thank you.