One Last Thing

August 8, 2011

Friends, this our last post, at least for awhile. It’s been so much fun to find you on the internet and grow a little family together. But it’s time to say goodbye. In the words of another great Italian, Lieutenant Colombo, let me add, “Just one last thing.”

I always tell my authors to make sure that their books are about one thing. The one thing is the hub in the wheel. Without the hub there are no spokes. Without the spokes there is no wheel. The one thing is the idea that holds everything together as one.

What is the hub that holds together the chapters in Why Stay Catholic? It is the idea that grounds my life in this crazy, ridiculous world. It is one that assures me I will reach my destination even if it is the place from which I began. That idea is one word: ONE.

We are all one with God and with each other whether we know it or not. No matter what we do or how bad we think we are, nothing can separate us from the love of God who is Love. Not sin, not ignorance, not madness, not anything (Romans 8:38-39). How could it? “We live and move and have our being in God” (Acts 17:28). We are literally in Love! Can anyone separate a wave from the ocean?

Neither can anything separate us from each other. Just as a sunbeam is inseparable not only from the sun but from every other sunbeam, we are literally one with God and each other. In truth, there are no sunbeams, there is only light. Each of us is an aspect of light. Our purpose in life is to come to know it and show it.

The spokes in my hub are Jesus’ commandments to love God—or love being loving—and to be a light in the world. When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he was telling us something profound. We are our neighbor, and our neighbor is us. Jesus said, “My Father and I are one,” and then went on to teach us how to pray by saying, “Our Father…” We are all, each of us, the spiritual children of God, made in the image and likeness of Love, and nothing can separate us from Love or each other. It only looks that way.

The truth is, when a Good Samaritan helps a wounded man on the side of a road, a hospital goes up 2,000 years later. When a child in Calcutta goes hungry, a child in California senses her pain. When the United States sends AIDS medicines to families in Nigeria, the whole world is blessed. What blesses one, blesses all. What blesses all, blesses one. When Billy Crystal in City Slickers asks Jack Palance what the secret of happiness is, the old-timer answers, “It’s one thing.”

So then, all my new friends, even though this is the last post, let’s rejoice in knowing, it’s one thing: nothing can separate us from God or each other.


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