Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.

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In 1955 I made my tertianship at Xavier Hall in Pass Christian. It was just a short distance from the beach so each afternoon I would walk along the beach. I was always amazed at the variety of flotsam and jetsam that had been washed up on the shore during the night. Here are some of the flotsam and jetsam that have washed upon the shores of my life.

  • “I think therefore I am.” I am therefore God is.
  • I am the greatest proof for the existence of God
  • I experience God before I have a concept of God.
  • God is Transcendent
  • God is Immanent
  • God is Transparent in creation. “Finding God in all things.”
  • Sacred and secular is a false dichotomy/ Every thing is sacred.
  • Life is a journey of faith. Our Lord has not only gone on before us to show us the way. Through imminence, he also goes along in us as our guide and companion.
  • Discern – decide – act. Action is essential part of discernment.
  • It is imprudent to act without thinking.
  • It is more imprudent to think and then not to act.


1) The physical universe – CREATED BY GOD - our home – the habitat for humanity - in which God supplies us with the necessities of life. God loves this world. “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son…”

2) The present SITUATION of the world – CREATED BY MAN - it is the result of sin and is an enticement to sin. It is what concupiscence is in the personal realm. This is the world that it at enmity with God. “If the world hates you know that it hated me before you...” This is the world that is beamed to us night and day through the media, proclaiming the “the trinitarian god of rugged individualism, hedonism and consumerism” which promotes “conspicuous consumption” as a way of life.

  • Conspicuous consumption: To buy what you do not need.
  • With money you do not have
  • To impress people you do not like.


1) GOD’S SEARCH FOR ME: God always takes the initiative. The first picture of God in Genesis is God searching for Adam. “Adam where are you?” God called us into being and is constantly calling us. Besides the strong winds of Pentecost there are the gentle breezes of the present moment. All we have to do is to put up the sails.

2) OUR SEARCH FOR GOD: The innate, insatiable drive in every one for God. It is the built-in orientation and existential thrust of the creature for the Creator. St. Augustine said it best, “Lord, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.”

Which came first the Church or the Gospel?

  • The Church came out of the existential Gospel. (The actual life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost) Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. (1-30)
  • The Church is the author and compiler of the written Gospel, the New Testament (51-100)
  • Scripture is not only the record of religious experience it is also creative of it. “Was not our heart burning in us as He explained the Scriptures.”
  • Exegesis: what the author meant.
  • Hermeneutics: what this means to the individual in his unique situation inspired by the Holy Spirit to the one who reads it with faith.


  • Unless it has gone to the heart and transformed our life it has to be heard again and again until it does. Then it must go to our feet so that we act on it.
  • “The Proclamation of the Gospel is the reason for and the mission of the Church.” Pope Benedict xvi
  • The Church proclaims the Gospel principally by the Mass which is a mosaic of the Gospel. Because of the different time zones in the world, the Church is celebrating Mass and proclaiming the Gospel several times every minute of every day
  • The theological virtues of faith, hope and love constitute a person a Christian and supply the inner dynamic from which flows every authentically Christian action.
  • These virtues enable us to have an intimate, personal relationship with God.
  • The immediate object of faith is not a truth but a person.
  • Jesus Christ is the immediate object of Christian faith.
  • As little Johnny said, “Jesus said so and He ought to know.”
  • Jesus Christ is also the immediate object of Christian hope and love.
  • The essence of Christianity is a personal relationship of love with God through faith, hope and love of Jesus.
  • Purpose of Catholic Church is to initiate, nourish and bring to fruition this intimate relationship of love with Jesus. “To know Jesus more intimately, love him more ardently and follow him more closely.”
  • “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matt. 28: 19 – 20)
  • “It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called Christian.”
  • Christian is the generic word. We are all disciples of Jesus, all Christians.
  • When you say Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, you are saying division, competition, contempt, envy.
  • When you say Catholic Christian, Orthodox Christian, Lutheran Christian, Episcopalian Christian, Methodist Christian, Baptist Christian you are saying union, union in diversity, cooperation, love.
  • There is no uniformity any where in creation or in Trinity.

And we demand it in religion? Unity in diversity

  • In necessary things – unity
  • In doubtful things – liberty
  • But in all things – charity
  • Disciple – Apostles: two sides of same coin
  • Disciple: love, joy, peace – apostolate of being
  • To be – accept human condition
  • To be me – accept my unique edition of the human condition
  • To be happy to be me because God loves me unconditionally
  • Live in present moment - only reality - Sacrament of the present moment. Grace for this moment not for yesterday or tomorrow.
  • By living today I make a beautiful dream of the past and a wonderful hope for the future.
  • All of the flowers of all of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.

History of human race

  • God’s unconditional love for man
  • Man’s inhumanity to man
  • What the world needs now is love, just love.
  • It costs to be a lover! The language of love is sacrifice!
  • God is love…”Let us make man in our own image”
  • God loved me into existence - God loves me unconditionally
  • The pardon of God is not the verdict of a judge but the embrace of a lover.
  • “Your wasness doesn’t matter if your isness really am.”
  • 1 John 4, “Love then consists in this not that we have loved God but that He has loved us and sent his Son…”
  • There is only One Love, the love of God. We are not creators, only receivers and transmitters of the love of God.
  • I am an act of love of God…ergo 1st commandment
  • Love yourself – I am an act of love of God
  • Love neighbor who is also an act of love of God -2nd commandment
  • In these two commandments is fulfillment of law
  • “A new commandment I give you “

What is Divine Mercy? It is simply the fidelity of the love of God. It is the unconditional love of God viewed from the point of a sinner.

  • Love: Eros: self satisfying
  • Agape: self sacrificing
  • Love is the answer. Love is also the problem:
  • What is love - Jesus is the answer. He is love incarnate
  • Ergo read - life of life of Jesus – in Gospel.
  • Spirituality is not the same as religion. Religion is organized spirituality.
  • Spirituality is the life of the Holy Spirit in us. You cannot corral the Holy Spirit who breathes where he will. You can’t lay down laws for the Spirit.
  • You cannot institutionalize God!
  • Divine Simplicity, Jesus spoke with divine authority but he spoken in the language of ordinary people of his day. I has to be simple because it is for all people and a way to live throughout life.

Three Classes of Men:

  • Wishbone – jawbone –backbone
  • Chump – chisler – champ
  • Dreamer – dodger – doer
© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J. all rights reserved