The Crutch and the Crown
I am writing this theological piece with the hope that Pope Francis will read it and share it with the faithful. Maybe we can engage in a conversation. Would any Cardinals like to engage? I would love to present this talk to our youth and to those at mass- around the world. I am inspired to write this as God works through Pope Francis to inspire the world.
Some have attacked religion (attempting to draw close to the face and light of God) as a mere crutch upon which poor and weak humans use to prop themselves upon in order to make sense of the world. Indeed, it might be tempting to accept this description at face value. When we dig deeper I think the Spirit moves us to embrace the idea of religion as a “crutch” but not how you might think!
For Christians, the crutch represents the grace of God. We sinners rely on this crutch as children of God. The Word of God makes us strong but in need of grace (John 1:14). The “crutch of grace” is a positive force- not a shackle. It is grace that draws us nearer to God (Romans 1: 1-5). This grace will bring us into the light of a welcoming God who will “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us” (1 Peter: 5-10).
Grace lifts us upward towards the crown of salvation. We draw near to the eternal host, the eternal God. The Trinity resides in us through grace (Romans 5:5, 8:11).
Can we be certain of salvation? Do the sacraments confer the certainty of salvation? Well, they do represent the font from which God’s grace flows but as Pope Gregory pointed out- man cannot be certain-absent special revelation (Lib vii, ep. xxv).
So we must be open to the eternal grace of God. There is no “certitudo Fidei” but as children of God we can be as certain as possible (Romans 8:16-17). Beyond “initial grace” we must seek “ongoing grace” and be active participants in holding up the cross that Christ redeemed us with. Works, faith and the sacraments combine to recharge our grace. The key question is… “How do we grow in Christ?”
We must go out and use the crutch of grace to reach the crown of salvation and lead others to it. Shall we? Children of God have many benefits but also many responsibilities.
Annuntio vobis. Gaudium magnum. Christus resurrexit. Vere resurrext!