Friday, 15 October 2010

Lost?

Father Ignatius was at the pulpit reading from the Bible:

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from Heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what He gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.’ "

The priest waited until the congregation sat down and then said:

“There’s an important message here from John’s Gospel at Chapter 6 verses 37 onwards.

“Jesus says that the will of God is that He, Jesus, should not lose anything, or anyone, that was given to Him. What does this mean? Are we all destined for Heaven and none of us should be lost?

“Let me tell you something which happened to me lately.

“Monsignor Thomas at Bishop’s House celebrated his 30th Anniversary as a priest recently. The Bishop held a party which I attended and I bought the Monsignor a lovely antique clock as a gift.

“Unfortunately, by the time I got home the clock stopped working. I took it to a shop and they agreed to fix it for £20.

“A few days later when I got back for the clock I was told it was lost. It was not anywhere to be found. The shop attendant explained that the clock had indeed been fixed yet somehow it got lost during refurbishment of the premises. He offered me compensation which I reluctantly accepted; but it was a small recompense for the lost valuable antique.”

The priest stopped for a while as he usually did during his sermons; then he continued.

“A few days later I received a letter saying the clock was ready for collection. You can imagine my delight at finding this precious antique once again.

“I of course offered to return the money the shop gave me as compensation but the attendant refused to accept it. He said it was Company policy never to lose an item. The clock was never lost; he told me emphatically, it was just temporarily misplaced.

“Not lost; but temporarily misplaced.

“And since the clock was never lost the shop attendant could not take back any money paid in compensation. It was mine to keep and use as a donation from the shop.”

The priest stopped again for a while.

“This set me thinking dear friends …” he continued.

“God created us body and soul. We know that the body eventually turns to dust yet the soul lives on.

“It is given to each one of us for safe-keeping so that we may return it to God as He intended and as Jesus said.

“But through our sins we manage to lose it time and again. A lost soul destined for another destination than the one intended … all because of our sin.

“God, in all His love and mercy sent Jesus to pay the price of restoring our soul. He has made us whole again. And the price was not a mere £20 which I paid to repair the clock. Jesus paid the price with His own life when He was so cruelly and horribly nailed to the Cross.

“That is a high price indeed my friends …

“The Son of God paid the price for our soul to be restored once again; just like that clock of mine.

“And it is our job … our duty and our great responsibility not to lose or misplace our soul ever again.

“Whether it is temporarily misplaced in Purgatory or forever misplaced in hell … this is something which each one of us will have to account for to God when it is our turn to meet Him face to face.

“What have you done with the soul I gave you for safe-keeping? He will ask us.

“I hope we’ll be ready to say ‘Here I am Lord, it is I returning to you. Not lost, nor misplaced.’ ”

11 comments:

  1. I would venture to say that if we have misplaced our souls, the best place to look for them is in the confessional; God's mercy will always help us to recover what was lost or misplaced.
    Thanks and God bless, Victor.

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  2. Hello Dear Victor...Actually we have a
    Body... physical
    Spirit...created in the image of God
    Soul.....our character..
    I did a huge bible study on this years ago. I have ALWAYS let only God be my teacher.
    It is so eye opening when you get a concordance and do individual studies....and if you use a Bible with the Jewish and Greek translation its even better. I don't believe we are to follow blindly, but rather, read and understand and allow God to mature us in Himself. (He talks to me)
    Animals have a soul, but not a spirit.
    You will be mad at me, but I don't believe in purgatory either..
    I believe totally in Gods Word...and the dead sea scrolls prove it true.
    I love John 14:6-7 (Jesus other cousin) Where Jesus says,
    "NO ONE, comes to the father, accept through me."
    My heart aches for all to know Gods truths.
    I love you. CML

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  3. Victor,
    This is a powerful story! I agree with Karin's comment about the best place to look for misplaced souls:)
    I must admit,the whole soul and spirit thing has always confused me a bit. We tend to use spirit and soul interchangeably though I know that this is not correct. I wasn't quite sure what animals have so I found Crystal Mary's comment interesting. I do believe that purgatory exists and Crystal Mary knows you won't get mad at her for believing otherwise (lol) :)

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  4. Greetings Karinann, Crystal Mary and Mary,

    I agree that lost or misplaced souls are best found in the confessional where they can be made whole once again.

    Now then ... as for spirit and soul ... I went to a poor school and we could not afford both! We were taught that soul and spirit are the same. It's like saying Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit.

    Our soul (spirit) is our inner being that inhabits the outer shell known as the body. It's made in the image of God ... this means the SOUL is made in the image of God ... not the body. We all have different shapes and sizes of bodies (you should see mine !!!) so it follows that it's not our body which looks like God ... but our very soul or spirit. It's our inner being, or soul/spirit which makes us think and behave the way we do. The soul makes us love or hate, feel pity or disdain and indeed all other emotions we experience and all deeds we do or omit to do in our lifeltime.

    It's this very soul/spirit which will be eventually judged and either welcomed in Heaven or sent to hell.

    The Bible often mentions soul and spirit as if they're different. I could not find a proper explanation for this and perhaps you and other readers can help.

    If they're different, then what happens to either of them? Can one go to Heaven and the other to hell? Unlikely. Does one live and the other dies? Seems odd. Again, no explanation is available on Catholic websites. Perhaps someone with contacts with a knowledgeable priest can find us an answer.

    As for animals ... I was told they have a "soul" or an inner being or thing that makes them behave the way they do ... but this soul/thing dies when they also do. This means no animals in Heaven folks !!!

    I know of priests however who believe animals do go to Heaven ... like your pet dog for instance. When I asked a priest whether this was a personal opinion or new Catholic teaching backed by the Vatican he did not reply to my e-mail(s).

    Personally I hope there are no animals in Heaven. I'd hate to come face to face with the Sunday roast admonishing me for having eaten it!

    As for Purgatory ... difficult this one.

    I've written about it here on 25 May and 18 July this year.

    There's no mention of Purgatory in the Bible. It's Catholic teaching based on ancient relics and catacombs. I really have little to offer on this apart from the fact that sometimes we're asked to believe without questions.

    Personally, I'd rather leave the final decision on where I'm going to God rather than the church; because I know that God knows what He's doing and no one ends up in hell by mistake.

    God bless.

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  5. A beautiful story, Victor. We are indeed responsible for our souls and where we finally end up is our doing because God always gives us the grace to come to Him.

    The Bible doesn't mention the name "purgatory", but the concept is there in both the Old and New Testaments. I researched and wrote an article about this and am going to tune it up and run it on my blog in November. The Church did not invent purgatory, God did!

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  6. I also was taught that spirit and soul were the same Victor and I too believe in Purgatory. I know my personal beliefs come from my parents and their teachings but I know at the end of my time here on earth that it will be God who decides what, where when and why. I trust him and his love and I know I will love his decision.
    .....:-) Hugs

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  7. Hi Barb and Bernie,

    Great to see you here once again.

    I like Bernie's saying: "I trust Him and His love and I know I will love His decision".

    God bless you Barb and Bernie.

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  8. There is a saying in the Methodist Church and it goes like this:

    Who you are is God's gift to you. Who you become is your gift to God.

    I believe each of us is responsible and accountable to God for what we have done with our lives when we die.

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  9. Well said Joey. And how true.

    Thank you so much for writing in. I'm grateful for your visits.

    God bless.

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  10. Great story, Victor. I also enjoyed reading the comments and learned from them. I don't think the Bible is very clear on the difference between the soul and spirit. I was always taught that the soul is our mind, but I don't know if the soul goes to heaven or just the spirit. If the soul doesn't go, how would we still be US?

    What did Crystal Mary mean when she called John Jesus's other cousin? I know John the Baptist was his cousin, but was the Apostle John also his cousin?

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  11. Hi Sarah,

    I've discussed this with a priest lately and he said that the soul and spirit are interchangeable words. Like I thought, they're the same.

    Like you, I think that John the Baptist is the only cousin mentioned in the Bible.

    God bless.

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