The struggle in which the human race has been engaged since Adam and Eve, like foolish children, ran away from their home in paradise and took us with them into godlessness is the escape from godlessness to God.
The escape from godlessness to God is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect (Matthew 23:13) (Matthew 23:24) (Matthew 6:33).
To facilitate our escape from godlessness to God, the most Holy Trinity established an escape route, defined it with landmarks, made a map of them, and entrusted the map to the Church.
A new exodus is taking place on the escape route through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land.
A landmark is an oasis in the hostile desert of godlessness.
Landmarks are the jewels of a beautiful necklace set in the hostile desert of godlessness.
At a landmark, a close encounter with God takes place.
At a landmark, we include God in our lives and God includes us in His.
At a landmark, a connection is made between earth and heaven. Through the connection, a communion with God takes place.
Our job on earth is to poke holes in the veil that separates paradise from godlessness to let the light of paradise shine into the darkness of godlessness. The hole poking is done at the landmarks that define the escape route through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. During our life on earth, we are designed to be hole pokers.
Examples of landmarks are the Mass, Confession, the other sacraments, works of charity, acts of kindness, prayer especially the rosary, Eucharistic adoration, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, fasting, the gathering of two or more together in God's name, bible study, the hour of death, etc.
Without landmarks, we would wander aimlessly in the hostile desert - lost in godlessness. Landmarks are the needle of the compass that always points in the direction of God. Only by making our way from landmark to landmark can we tell that we are heading in the right direction.
In making our escape from godlessness to paradise, we are free to visit any landmark. However, it is important to maintain a healthy balance between landmarks that deal with love of God and landmarks that deal with love of neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)
Uproot thyself from the hostile desert of godlessness, repent and make your escape. Flee to God. Make your way home.
The role of the Church is to facilitate the escape not to filter it. God will sort everything else out after we have arrived at our destination.
An escape is now in progress from the sourness of godlessness to the sweetness of paradise. Jesus, the love note, the beloved Son of God, is the conductor that bridges the potential difference between godlessness and paradise. Through Him, we make our escape (John 14:6). Through Him, the current of salvation flows.
The Church is the new Moses engaged in a new exodus serving the children of Adam and Eve as we make our escape through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land.
The observation from the inside out - from within a religion - is "one path, one destination". The observation from the outside in - from without a religion - is "many paths, one destination". Which is it? Has God given a monopoly over the new exodus to one religion? In the meantime, while this point is being disputed, include God in your lives. Sojourn at the landmarks that define the escape route from godlessness to God. In this way you will know for certain that you are heading in the right direction. Seeking God, including God in your lives, sojourning at the landmarks of the escape route are the needle of the compass that always points in the direction from godlessness to God.
All that God requires of you is to make your escape - to trod the "highway of holiness" (Isaiah 35:8) from godlessness to paradise.
He may be a Christian, another a Jew, someone else a Muslim. But we are all brothers and sisters in the escape. God has given no religion a monopoly over the escape. The unity that God wants is the unity of the escape.
The most Holy Trinity intend that the Church be grease for the wheels of the escape not an obstacle in its way.
Whenever the Church becomes a bottleneck to the escape, the children of Adam and Eve go around it, under it, over it and through it. The children of Adam and Eve will seek God with or without the Church. The escape is ineluctable. It is undeniable.
To facilitate our homecoming, the Son of God revealed Himself as the escape route between the world of godlessness and the world of God (John 14:6)
"The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God." (Psalm 14:2) [Note that He did not look down from heaven to see whose "identity" was Catholic].
Godlessness is a sinking ship (Mark 4:35-39). We are its passengers. The Church is its crew. God gave the Church a rescue mission. However, the rescue mission that God gave the Church is not to save the ship. The rescue mission that God gave the Church is to save the passengers.
To the lifeboats! To the lifeboats! Abandon ship! Abandon ship!
God is not interested in making godlessness into a better, more hospitable place for godless people to live. God wants us to exhume the corpse of godlessness that is poisoning us as it rots in our hearts (Matthew 24:28)
Life on earth is an obstacle course. We are meant to pass through it. We lose the race when we stop to form attachments to the obstacles. The measure of success is that we are on the move. We need not even cross the finish line to achieve victory. We achieve victory if, when the trumpets blow, we are on the move.
The biggest obstacle on the course is self indulgence. Put God and neighbor first. Put yourself last.
Prayer is a landmark that helps define the escape route.
Are you contributing to your pension? Each ‘Hail Mary’ that you pray is a contribution to your pension. The phrase from the ‘Hail Mary’ in which we ask Mary to pray for us “... at the hour of our death. ... “ explains why. During the hour of our death we will be grateful for all the contributions to our pension we made by saying the ‘Hail Mary’ while we were living. Saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy also contributes to our pension (“whoever recites this chaplet that I have given to you will receive great mercy at the hour death”)
A Catholic is a Multi-faceted Gem
A Catholic is a gem of many facets. Does a defect in one of the facets disqualify a Catholic from seeking God? Does an imperfection make a Catholic ineligible to seek God?
Even Sinners Seek God
To facilitate the escape through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land, God established an escape route, defined it with landmarks, made a map of them and entrusted the map to the Church. At the landmarks, close encounters with God take place. To bar sinners from experiencing close encounters with God at the Catholic landmarks is akin to throwing them out of a lifeboat into shark infested waters. What will you say to God when God asks you why you frustrated their escape instead of facilitating it? When God reminds you that He told you to love your neighbor as yourself, will you justify your foul treatment of sinners by telling God that you thought there was an exception to the rule of love for sinners? Let those who seek God come to God. Do not play God by judging them. Judgement is mine says the Lord. Do we not have our hands full with the children of Adam and Eve who do not seek God? Is not the work of evangelizing them enough? We are a Church not just of saints but of sinners. In fact, the Church teaches that all of us are sinners. God did not give you the power to convert sinners. God reserved the power to convert sinners to themselves. Moreover, sinners get converted during close encounters with God at the Catholic landmarks. Therefore, take them there. It makes no sense to keep them away. Their sins are God's business not our business. Our business is to welcome anyone who seeks God.