The belief that we can earn our salvation by virtue of our own efforts and goodness is something deeply engrained. A really revealing question is to ask ourselves if we see the Christian life as one continuous effort to live a good life and eventually to earn enough brownie points to get to Heaven? Or is it one great act of gratitude for having been saved and loved so much? Those who answer yes to the first will tend to do the minimum that it takes in terms of how much they give and to what extent they comply. A sense of duty that is not always characterised by love is usually their modus operandi. For those who can say yes to the second question, their lives tend to be characterised by loving service where they give themselves totally and without reserve, and not even for the sake of reward. Their response to such a great love is that nothing is too much to give, and going the extra mile is always a privilege and never a burden.

Fr Jim Cogley