Transforming Love

August 30, 2020

This week I would like to focus on the second reading from the letter of St. Paul to the people of Rome.  He tells those listening, “Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”  He goes on to state by discerning the will of God we will be led to what is good and pleasing and perfect.   In these times, being transformed by renewal is such a contrast to the conforming of the things of this age going on.  Being transformed is a necessary focus.  When I read and reread these words, I was brought to a place of hope.  Our spirit and our minds are not shackled to this age nor this pandemic.  While we wait for science to give us a vaccine, and legislation to let us know what is allowable, we have our minds and our hearts.  These do not have to conform, but we are to allow the transformation of the soul to continue and soar.  I am not saying to lose the face mask and shield and throw caution to the wind, on the contrary, I am saying let us not lose heart, let the renewal of our soul be transformed by the realization that our hearts are still restless for the Lord and should be.  The fire of the Holy Spirit is still presenting itself to us.  The things of this age are weighing heavy on everyone.  Even simple actions now take much more time now including the amount of sanitizing, the placing of face masks on and off, in the car, by the door.  Our lives are changed, but all of these changes are external.  What hasn’t changed is how we renew ourselves with God.

The other day, when I was golfing at Fox Bend early in the morning, I was struck by the sunrise and how God throws light all over the surface of the earth.  This hasn’t stopped, pandemic or no pandemic.  The beauty of all the shades of green that change as the sun mounts the sky is transforming and ever changing.  It is why I love to get out early.  I find it easy to be caught up in the wonder of God.  I wrote on my score card that day something I want to go back to over and over:  When we stop looking for brilliance, we will stop finding it.  God is brilliant and wants us to be drawn into renewing ourselves in His transforming love.  He wants us to move from the heaviness of the world where a pandemic has necessitated our classrooms, gyms and work spaces all relocate into the space of our homes to a mindfulness that leads to the eternity of our soul.  It is powerful; it is magnificent.  He hasn’t stopped throwing His brilliance upon the world.  He has not stopped forgiving our sins.  He has not stopped coming to earth and offering us the Eucharist.  He does this so we can leave the heaviness of the world and not conform ourselves to it.  We’ve got this.  We are stronger than the disease that threatens us because love conquers everything.  Love does end in death, but it always leads us to the resurrection.  That is at times bitter and hard, unexpected and tragic.

True transformation and renewal lead us to the heart and soul.  The will of God will lead us to what is good, pleasing and perfect.

Father John Ouper