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“What makes us unchristian is the absence of Christ”
P .26 Magnificat – February 2017 Edition
As I was reading this, I felt drawn into it, to pause. Isn’t this true? It is not an epithet. It’s ontological. It’s true! We are unchristian when we are absent Christ. I.E. No matter how good an act seems or well-intentioned, in the absence of His presence, the act is not a Christian act. On the flip side, in the presence of Christ, an act, however baffling it may seem, is a Christian act. It is not about how we identify or think of ourselves that makes us “Christian”. It is not our deeds. It is not a prayer we said one day to enter into the family… It is Christ’s presence in and through us. This is all that it means in a sense. To be in His presence right here and now, operating from communion with Him moment to moment, any moment, including now. That means, it’s not a one and done, nor is it in the past. It is ongoing. And even if our deeds are not “Christian or unchristian” in and of themselves, Christ can be felt and experienced in those deeds when they are inspired by his presence and this can be true whether a person identifies with any given label. The moment my identity as a Christian is what becomes paramount, it is narcissistic rather than an encounter with the living God. HIS presence always in and through is what identifies Him. Not our label. The witness is HIS presence and HIS presence only which can be seen in and through us and deeds at time but it can also be smothered by us and our deeds. This may sound paradoxical. Christ is living, breathing, Person…. inspiring us and we commune with Him… or not. There is grace and our response which is welcoming or rejecting His presence. And this is not a relationship formed once, nor is it even daily, it is moment to moment, our loves, our choices. Will we love Him or will we reject Him and squeeze Him out with our ideas and dissociation from the moment? The connection can form in any person at any time. We are all made in His likeness and image. There is no club but there is choice. Do I want the label? Do I want to crowd him out with my own ideas and identities? Or do I want Christ? And once I choose the latter, I also become my most uniquely created, authentic self…ironically.