Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Choices…Part II

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 21, 2009

For the next few weeks (or however long God desires it) I will review a series of talks given by Archbishop Fulton SheenI will try as best as I can to quote him accurately – thus all his direct quotes will appear italicized and in “quotation marks”

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Choices: Part II :  “For many are called, but few are chose.” ~Mt 22:14

So Our Lord is saying there is a broad road, a wide gate and many travel that road.  There is a narrow road, and the narrow gate, and few there are that go in.  Now suppose if He said, ‘But I will not make a choice.  I will live indifferently.’  Not to make a choice is to choose. … White fences do not remain white fences, they become black fences, because we do not paint them and take care of them… So everybody is making a choice…even when they do not choose.”

Is there a good example of this in Scripture?  Yes!  The story of Pontius Pilate and his “choice” not to choose.  When did that happen, you might ask?  The moment that Pilate brought Jesus – scourged, bloody, and crowned with thorns – out to the people.  Instead of letting Jesus go, as he said he would do; Pilate brought out another prisoner, perhaps hoping that the people would rather condemn a man already condemned instead of sending an innocent man to death.  Pilate was wrong.  But even still, Pilate did not make choice between life and death, per sé, he instead chose to wash his hands of the innocent blood that his soldiers would continue to extract from Jesus as they lead Him away to be crucified.

“I think the choice that is offered us is something like the choice that was offered on the sunlit porticul of Pontius Pilate the day he brought Our Blessed Lord and Barabbas out before the mob…Jesus was scourged…He was made ‘King for a day’…and they [the soldiers] bowed before Him, mockingly… Now, Pilate brings Our Lord out,… and with Him, Barabbas, a great popular hero.  Let us remember that.  He was not just a robber, as been described.  He was rather, a revolutionist…he was anti-establishment, he was popular because he was violent, he tried to overthrow the Roman authority; and Pilate now brings out these two figures.

“There is even some evidence, in the early manuscripts of scripture, that the name of Barabbas… in Hebrew, means…’son of the father’.  Pilate, therefore, was really saying, ‘Which shall I release to you?  Jesus, the Son of the Heavenly Father or the ‘son of the father’, Barabbas?  They chose Barabbas… ‘Release unto us Barabbas’…’What shall I do with your Christ?’ Crucify Him!  Now we have that choice.  We are in many important moments of our lives making that decision.  We are ‘opting for the hero’ (Barabbas) or we are ‘opting’ for the One who, for the moment, is quite unpopular.  Or to put it in other scripture language; we are going to one of two cities…”

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 AD), wrote a book entitled, The City of God.  In this book he compares two cities; the City where God and His people dwell and the city where evil reigns with his dominions.  St. John, the Evangelist, the youngest of Jesus’ Apostles, wrote a similar description in his apocalyptic writing known as Revelation, found at the end of the Sacred Scripture.  Both cities describe the great contrasts between the profound and the profane.  The city of evil contains all blasphemies against God and His holy ones, against His Son and His Church.  The great City of God, on the other hand, is adorned with jewels as a bride adored for her bridegroom, with the Most High resting in its center.

So ultimately, at the end of our choice, after having chosen either Christ or Barabbas, there will be two cities awaiting us: The city of Babylon or the Great Marriage, for in Heaven there will be the marriage of the Lamb to the Bride, which is the Church.”

For Jesus IS the Lamb of God, and His Bride IS His Church, as St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

We are that Church, which Christ established on Peter and the Apostles (cf. Mt 16:15-18), and the gates and powers of Hell will not overcome it! We will not have homosexual unions recognized as marriage; we will not sanctify the lie that murdering the unborn child is a ‘God given choice’; the Church will not fall into the sin of women priests because a bride cannot be a ‘bridegroom’ as Christ is for the Church, as the priest is en persona Cristi (in the person of Christ).  The Church may become a remnant few, a chosen few who hold to that which Christ has taught and continues to teach to this day through His successors (cf. Mt 28:20); But the Church will always be here, until the moment of Christ’s return to reclaim her and establish her in Himself once and for always!

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day–and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” ~Rev 21:22-27

“We are never to be cast down by trials, by discipline, by mortifications … we have God with us, Christ within our souls!  You are good people.  You would not be here if you were not good.  Even though you are not as good as you want to be, you have come here because you want to be better. There is a deep yearning today in the American soul for goodness and spirituality, and you manifest it.  And if you bear with me, during these talks, I will lead you step by step to inner peace, to inner joy, and to consolation. Thank you, and…

God Love You!”

Previous Posts

Cross of Christ
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part I

Fulton Sheen: Cross…  Part II
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part III

Choices:
*Part I


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