be a saint

Christ in a Fool's Clothing, Or a Fool in Christ's Clothing

Sometimes I am nothing but a fool in Christ's clothing. Sometimes I talk the talk and maybe even walk the walk, but I am just a fool, wearing a Christ disguise.

I act like Christ: I go to Mass daily and Confession weekly, I read the Bible and talk about God and Heaven and hell and mercy and grace and the rescue of man from dark places.  I smile at the stranger and talk with the loner.  I tell all my friends and relatives why they should know God.

Sometimes I talk and talk and walk and walk, but I am just a fool, wearing Christ's clothing.

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have LOVE, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have LOVE, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have LOVE, it profits me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

You know, there is having love, and then there is having the One Who is called Love. There is having Valentine's-day-Hollywood-pink love, and then there is having the One Who's name is Love. (1 John 4:8)  I think St. Paul means the latter.  St. Paul does not mean having a warm do-good feeling for others, he means being so possessed by Love Himself as to love on His behalf.  Because St. Paul also wrote: "I live no longer I, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)

How can I say this if I am not inebriated by Christ?  How can Christ live in me if my mind is not consumed with thoughts of Christ, like a bride separated from her groom?  If my soul is not consumed with love of Christ, attention to Christ, intimacy with Christ, conversation with Christ?

Holiness does not consist of acting holy.  Becoming "a little Christ" is the goal, not acting like Christ.  Becoming a saint is the end, not acting like a saint.  No longer I, but Christ who lives in me.  And the only way to achieve this is to be so united with Christ that even my actions are not my own.

O Lord, how often have I tried to be a servant without ever speaking to the Master?  How often have I tried to carry the message in pride, unfamiliar with the Author?

Christ calls us to communion and transformation.  The call is to become Christ disguised behind my imperfections; like a Shakespearean fool, who is no fool at all.  Then can we be a fool for Christ (1 Cor 4:10).

Lord Jesus, make me into you - make me a Christ disguised by my imperfections. Help all of me be consumed by one goal: loving you. And when I am a fool trying to pass for you, a fool wearing your clothes, who does not know you, let me fail. Lord Jesus, make me into you - make me a Christ in a fool's clothing. Until you replace my motley rags with the robes of a resurrected body.