for the butterfly to fly home

Within every caterpillar lies a butterfly, a creature whose beauty far surpasses the life that dies so that it may endow the earth with a singular moment of wonder and awe. Bertrand Russell wrote that an honest philosophy could not reasonably deny that “no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave. All the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system.” Obviously, he failed to see the butterfly within, the soul which is the image of God; like a man who has the gift of sight but chooses to be blinded so he can avoid the inevitable truth that comes with the light of day.

How sad it is to read or hear of those who have no expectation beyond the grave or belief in God or hope in perpetual joy with Him. For those who do not believe we live only in the larval stage, doomed to crawl on this earth for a brief time without any promise of bursting forth into a beauty that soars beyond the bounds of earth. How sad. How hopelessly sad.

Perhaps to be a lowly caterpillar is not so bad when imagining the life that has been promised, the life that is yet to come. Our lives are filled with many temptations as we see them and we often expend far too much energy and effort overindulging in the bounty that surrounds us. We forget our temporality and earthly purpose and through weakness shove aside thoughts of our Creator. We sin and sin and then sin some more.

If you were asked this question: “What is the longest you have gone without sinning? A week, a day, an hour?” how would you respond? Most of us, if we would be honest with ourselves would say “I can’t live a day without sinning.” We would be ignoring the truth, fooling ourselves, if we were to say that we had not sinned in thought or action for the day or the week. St. John says “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” [1 Jn 1:8-10].

God created us and He wants us to be the best that we can be; He knows that we are imperfect creatures and that we will often, even daily, falter and sin. But He created us and He loves us despite our faults, lapses, and failures. Why? Because He knows that we are destined to be more, to become more, to ultimately die in this life yet transform into an eternal being who will sing His praise forever.

God, in His own perfection, knows that we are imperfect but then He created us that way. He will always forgive us; all we have to do is ask Him, no matter how often that might be. After all He is waiting for the butterfly to fly home.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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