Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Mountain Top Experiences

Whenever I think of mountain top experiences, I can't help but imagine Moses when he witnessed the burning bush.

Then to have God speak to him from the burning bush, that has to be one of the most colorful mountain top experiences imaginable.

Can you imagine God writing the Ten Commandments for you by his own finger?

Moses certainly had his mountain top experiences. But what about anyone else?

I was thinking of this and spiritually speaking, there are a million examples of mountain top experiences.

Consider when a child is born, the hope for a better world and the gift of another life in the image and likeness of God.

Consider sitting in your den and you are deep in meditation and a light bulb turns on. It could be something you had read or heard about 100 times before, but it took this one time for it to register.

A deeper understanding about the truths of our holy Catholic Faith. A mountain top experience can occur during a pilgrimage where people are searching for answers and finding them.

Discovering God's love for you can be a great mountain top experience.

Some people recieve them going on great pilgrimages, others have received them at their kitchen table.

In reality, you do not have to go a half a world away to discover God, but it is great when you have the chance to go on a pilgrimage. To be able to go to the Holy Land and see the places that Jesus worked his miracles.

The stories of the bible seem to just come alive.

I have had my fair share of these experiences, mountain top experiences can be simply amazing when you open yourself and surrender yourself to the soverignty of God.

People use to ask me how I could always appear happy despite very stressful circumstances. I could be participating in a 72 hour field training excercise and be up and running the whole event and still be smiling with a song in my heart.

During these times, the opportunity to witness for the faith was almost constant. Someone might want to challenge me or someone might ask me a question about the Faith. I was involved in many discussions.

I don't think that mountain top experiences should be the reason why we beat our drum on the mountain top as we use to sing from an old Army cadence, but these experiences can enhance our relationship with God.

A true mountain top experience is knowing when you are in fact standing on holy ground.

In every Catholic Church in the world where the tabernacle hosts the Eucharist, this is holy ground. This should be a living mountain top experience.

Looking at the mountain top experiences there can be much joy as people place them deeply in their hearts.

Still, these mountain top experiences must be guided by the intellect and placed within the bossom of the will. We have free will to follow God and our will is front and center on this issue.

1 John 4:1 makes a very sobering point, just because we have received a mountain top experience, we still must test the spirit of it to see if it is from God, or someone or something else.

I have always recognized there are people who go by emotion rather than reason. There is nothing wrong with emotions, God gave this to us for a reason, I love the sign of the cross at the Gospel reading at Mass.

We are essentially saying, "My mind thinks the truth, my mouth speaks the truth, and my heart loves the truth".

Today, there are about 170 new denominations being established every year because someone has received a new revelation.

There are 42,000 different Protestant denominations or variations around the world all based from new revelations taken as mountain top experiences.

I see the Catholic Faith, the Ten Commandments as like a guard rail going down some stairs, it is not restrictive, but in reality, quite liberating.

Jesus invites us to take our boats out into the deep waters where we can cast our nets in search for and discover the deepertruth of our holy Catholic Faith.

I know people who, like Indiana Jones go in search for the great mountain top experiences looking for God under every rock they can find.

There is only one Rock that Jesus established and that is his Church built upon the foundation of Peter.

This is the foundation that gives us security in knowing that no weapon formed against it shall stand, that the power of death will not and cannot overcome it.

Do you want a real mountain top experience? You can start at your local Catholic Church to find the answers.

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