Grace to you!
May I share with you a few characteristics of a passionate believer?
A passionate believer is fixed on the goal for which he or she believes. Amidst the storms and the distractions on the way, the passionate believer keeps an eye on the finish line. Within him or her, the voice of God isn’t silent, and enthusiasm never fades.
Sometimes, the zeal may seem to be in hibernation mood. The saints call that a moment of desert experience or dark night of the spirit, yet the firmness of his or her commitment to God remains solid. In truth, within the soul, the zeal never wanes though there may be no activity on the outside. The deepening needed for the passionate believer to blossom comes through layers of spiritual training in the School of the Holy Spirit.
The passionate believer imbibes the vision and breathes the cause of the Christ-event. Unwavering loyalty is a passionate believer’s second name.
In contrast, a believer of leisure or convenience works by expediency. Keeping engaged is a challenge, in part, because the source of the excitement is not in the Spirit, from within. Distractions or other side attractions easily take him or her away from the goal.
It’s like the African proverbial story of the dog and the tortoise on a race (a similar western version is the tortoise and the hare). The tortoise could never beat the dog in a race but because the dog is easily distracted, it sometimes could happen. Smell of food, of bones, etc., and the sound of squirrels and rabbits in the woods could easily distract the dog who runs off in pursuit of what is in the woods while the tortoise crawls her way to the finish line, way ahead of the faster dog.
A believer of convenience is easily distracted. A passionate believer isn’t.
There is something more about this distinction, especially as it relates to the spiritual life. And here I mean our Christian spirituality, which I am all for and to which my daily reflections are honed in on. The cost of being a believer and a passionate believer of Jesus Christ isn’t a matter of convenience. It’s a passionate commitment, for life.
Its nature is often against the current of our secular ways of looking at things because it’s often not convenient. When Jesus spoke to three different people (see Luke 9:57-61) about the requirements for discipleship, he was making clear how the commitment isn’t about convenience.
I would love for us to meditate on Jesus’s word for a time: “As they were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-61).
Isn’t it evident Jesus is showing the cost of being a true, passionate believer, which entails genuine, unreserved commitment and singularity of purpose?
A passionate believer is one who buys in to the God-cause and follows with a firm resolve to be like Christ. God’s grace is always supplied for this end. Be sure of this, the quality of your commitment not it’s quantity matters much. It shows your passion for God.
Be passionate. Be single minded in the God-cause. The rest is God’s business and God will lead you to the finish line. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.