I know that I should be excited about the upcoming Eucharistic Congress that the Bismarck diocese is hosting this month, but I’m not. I say the following at the risk of sounding like a smug and arrogant jerk, but I’m honestly at a place where listening to speakers and reading books about Catholicism do not provide anything new to me. I’m not a theologian, but I do know more than the basics of the Faith and know quite a bit more than your average Catholic.

But what I need now is encounter, not intellect. I need to encounter Jesus. I need to experience him. I need to meet him. When I look at my life it has been a long time since I have encountered Jesus. I’ve been in the same room as him but I’ve been distant and cold. I’ve communed with him, but I’ve not been receptive to his life. Augmenting my knowledge of doctrine, dogma, religious observance, practical prayer methods, and the like won’t change that.

I just want to know Jesus in the way that I was created to know him, in the natural and organic way in which man was originally intended to know God. I want him in my soul, not just in my mind. I want to know him as a husband and wife know each other. I want to get back to that and out of this place of sin and desolation I’ve wandered into.


One thought on “Encounter

  1. Deep within your own heart lies your God. You are a temple for the Holy Spirit. Encounter him underneath and at the source of everything that makes you you.

    Every encounter between God and man is made through the humanity of Christ, the mediator, he who is both divine and human. Think about his humanity, his flesh, his desires, his temptations, his sufferings, his teachings, his death, his love.

    You might think you sound arrogant or smug, but I know you too well to know that you aren’t. I understand where you are coming from. Just remember that you don’t have to search for Jesus; he is seeking you first. He loves you first. All that you are is a response to that.

    In many ways, you probably are encountering Christ, but relying on feelings to tell us that is fleeting and dangerous. I know you know this, but I say it anyway: God is God and loves you no matter what peak or trough you are feeling.

    You say you don’t want books, but sometimes we need to learn what dispositions are beneficial to our “encountering” Christ. A good book that transformed how I have been encountering Christ is “Time for God.” You’ve heard me advertise this book before, but that is because a close reading of it I think can really help people like us who want that encounter and tend to use our rationality and intellect.

    Finally, you mentioned encountering Christ in an intimate way like a husband and wife. This type of encountering of Christ involves and also must lead to communion with him through his body, eschatological communion, sacramental communion, and social communion. Eschatological: we must be compelled toward communion with Christ’s body after we die and participate in the divine life. Sacramental: we must be compelled toward communion with Christ’s body in his divine/spiritual actions made present in this physical world while we journey. Last, and this one is key, Social: we must be compelled toward communion with Christ’s body in the members of Christ’s body, each other. We are a community. Sometimes I feel and think we (by “we” I actually mean you, and me, and our friends, family, people in our lives closest to us) need to be acting more as a Christian community.

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