|Calling of the Apostles by Ghirlandaio (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).
Who were the Pharisees? What were they really? Why did Jesus condemn them so much?
They were men who thought they had found God. They were men who had stopped seeking God and crying out for Him because they thought they already possessed Him. They were men who were in the true Faith, who carried it out to the letter and who missed the point. They were men who loved God's law but did not love God. They were men who read about God every single day but could not see Him standing right in front of them.
I've been thinking about what it was like before I was converted. I was seeking God with all of my being. My whole life was crying out the question, "Who are you?"
Once I found the answer, I gradually became angry and bitter. Some of that was rebelling against God's demands on my life. But there was another dimension that I have only just come to realize. It was that once I became sure that I knew who God was and that I was safely in His house, I stopped searching for Him. I became a Pharisee.
If I am not searching for God, I am most certainly searching for something else. Whether it is success, entertainment or my own ideas about God and His life, as a human being I must always be seeking for something. But, I will come to the end of those things. God is the only one who I will never come to the end of.
Before I became Catholic, my life was filled with a kind of mysticism. It was only because I was still seeking for God so strenuously. That should be the perpetual state of this life. That is how we enter into eternity now because eternity is always seeking and seeing more and more of God and never reaching the end of Him.
No matter where we are in this life we can never stop searching for God with all of our being. Whether we know His name or not, whether we are praying perfectly or not, whether we are in a habit of sin we can't get out of or not, we must cry out for God like the tax collector who beat his breast and said, 'Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!'
The saint is the one who starts searching for God and never stops.
Rebecca blogs at Otaku Catholic.