the sacraments of initiative
"The worldly take more initiative than the other-worldly when it comes to dealing with their own kind." —Luke 16:8
"Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guard the city, in vain does the guard keep vigil" (Ps 127:1). "It is the Lord's blessing that brings wealth, and no effort can substitute for it" (Prv 10:22). No matter how hard we try, we cannot make the works of God happen. "It is God Who, in His good will toward you, begets in you any measure of desire or achievement" (Phil 2:13).
Some people infer from this that Christians should not take initiative in building God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. However, the Lord didn't tell us to take no initiative but rather to not think that our initiative is the cause of His works.
The Lord wants His people to take more initiative than "the shakers and the movers" of this world (see Lk 16:8). Like the early Church and the Church throughout the centuries, we are to take bold initiatives for God's kingdom. The Church teaches: "The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 899). We Christians are a people of strong initiative, for we follow God Who initiates everything good (Jas 1:17). He does this because He is Love (1 Jn 4:16). We do this because "the love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14).
Prayer: Father, may zeal for Your house consume me (Jn 2:17).
Promise: "They who received no word of Him will see Him, and they who have never heard will understand." —Rm 15:21
Praise: Warren and Margaret followed the call of God and began teaching natural family planning to married couples several decades ago. They have built a ministry organization which now reaches around the world.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997