Is there a plan for my life?
God has a beautiful plan for your life. He created you with a purpose: to know and love him.
Edmund: Sweat almost killed me.
Edmund: Yes. Sweat.
Edmund: So, one time my friend and I decided to climb up this big mountain as fast as we could and camp at the top overnight. The snow was knee deep and it took us hours to get all the way up to the top. But when we got to the top, our socks and clothes had been drenched in sweat. We didn’t think to bring more clothes. All we brought was a tent and sleeping bags.
Emily: Oh, that does sound cold.
Edmund: Yeah. We shivered, wet and freezing in those sleeping bags. It’s the coldest I’ve ever been. All it took was 10 minutes before we gave up and ran back down the mountain. I thought I had frostbite for sure.
Emily: Well, at least you planned to bring sleeping bags.
Edmund: Yeah. I mean, we didn’t plan to bring sweat.
Emily: Okay. But it was bad planning that almost killed you. Not sweat.
Edmund: Yeah, that’s a good point. Planning is definitely a learned skill. I have this friend who loves it, but it’s taken me years to get good at it. I mean, making plans for the day or the week, I have a really nice daily planner now, by the way. Some people even enjoy making bigger plans, like big life plans.
Emily: I can hardly plan my week, let alone my life.
Edmund: Well, there already is a plan for your life.
Emily: What plan would that be?
Edmund: We’re created to know and love God.
Emily: We have all heard that before.
Edmund: No, seriously. That’s the plan. God created you with a purpose, to know and love him. That’s been the plan all along. God in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created us to share in his blessing life. And that’s what this is all about. Everything.
Emily: Okay, sure. It makes sense to me that God has a plan for his world, but what happened?
Edmund: God has had this plan from the beginning. God created all of us and calls us to know and love him. God is always drawing near to us, but we’ve been scattered and divided by sin.
Emily: Sin does ruin everything.
Edmund: Exactly. So God sent his son to unite us into his family, which is the church.
Emily: Okay, so Jesus gives us the plan.
Edmund: Yes. Think about it. God doesn’t hide the plan. It’s too important. He reveals it to us and he sends someone, his Son, into our time in flesh and blood to tell us the plan in human words. God tells us the plan himself. And he invites all of us in his son and through him to become his adopted sons and daughters in the Holy spirit to share in his life, to know and love him starting here and now.
Emily: And Jesus said all of us.
Edmund: Yes. God wants everyone throughout all time and throughout the whole world to know and love him. So Jesus sent the apostles to proclaim this good news God’s plan of loving goodness. And this good news has been passed down to us from the apostles, generation after generation faithfully guarded by the church. All of us are invited to respond to it, to make it our plan too, to grow in our knowledge and love of God and to share in his life, by joining his family, the church.
Emily: So today we can hear and understand the plan from the church who received it from Jesus, and we can decide to make it our plan, too?
Edmund: Exactly. It allows us to live out our calling since we are created to know and love God, it’s our highest calling. That’s where we get the word catechesis from.
Emily: It’s Greek to me.
Edmund: So the word catechesis comes from a Greek word that means to echo down. The church has used this word to describe the work of passing on this plan, the good news, and calling everyone to respond and experience the plan God has for them. The church has been echoing this plan of loving goodness down through the centuries.
Emily: Echoing what the church received from God.
Edmund: Exactly. And we’re all called to share in this echo and to share it in charity with our family, friends, neighbors, and the whole world.
Emily: Well, yeah, who doesn’t like sharing good news?
Edmund: In fact, a catechism is a summary of that echo of the plan. The catechism of the Catholic church is an official summary of the deposit of faith or the echo handed down to us. And it just so happens to start with the plan.
Emily: Okay. Tell me the plan.
Emily: Yeah. Hand it down to me.
Edmund: Okay, here we go. Here are the first few lines.
God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created man to make him share in his own blessing life for this reason at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men scattered in, divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his son as Redeemer and savior. In his son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.
Emily: So I’m hearing you say that there’s this plan and it’s in the catechism. And so I should read it, but I’m honestly having a flashback to using that as a textbook in high school.
Edmund: Well, it’s more than a book of information. So the catechism reminds us that periods of renewal in the church are also intense moments of catechesis. So the catechism is supposed to change us. It’s written to help, you know, the plan, but also to respond to it and make it your own. It should help you to know and love God. That’s how it all starts with the plan for you and God. Everything else should be understood in light of that plan. And the more we live out, our purpose and God’s plan, the more renewal happens in the church because God made all of us to know and love him.
It all starts with a plan.
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