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  A Christian Faith Magazine August 2004, Volume 10, Issue 1  
Striving For A Perfect Relationship
Rev. Mark Connolly
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Almost every psychiatrist I know, and we all read fundamentally the same journals, is always worried about the amount of pills and medication that our country consumes every year. Why do we have more children on anti-depressants than at any other time of our lives. Why is it we need the Tylenol PM to help us get an extra nights sleep. There is in our culture factors way beyond our control. For example, why do we have over five million black men in jail and that is far more than the five million black students we have in various colleges throughout our country. Whether you are talking psychology or sociologically, there is something happening to our country. When you know that over 55% of today's marriages fail, when you know that of any seven couples who get married this year, one in seven will end in divorce within seven years, all of this points to a break down in our family system and our family values.

There is one word I would like to stress that can help each one of us and everyone's family. It is the word relationship.

Your relationship with God. Your relationship with another. Your relationship with yourself.

First, your relationship with God. If you are not anchored to God; if you are not grafted to Christ, than you are going to be overwhelmed by the cultural trends that make religion of no interest to us. When you look at your Baltimore Catechism, we were all taught that God put us on this earth so we could love Him, serve Him and be happy with Him in the next world. That means that we have to be anchored to God. St Augustine has a beautiful phrase where he said, You have made us for Yourself, O God and our hearts will not rest until they rest in You.

Billy Graham has another wonderful line about our relationship with God when he said, "I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future".

Albert Camus
Albert Camus

The second quality that has to be developed by each one of us to maintain our peace of mind and peace of soul is our relationship with others. The great French writer Camus once said, "there is no relationship worth while unless it is lived in a relationship with another". If you do not reach out, if you don't take the extra step to establish solid relationships, you can easily develop a life of loneliness, a life of depression. Many of us might have been hurt in the past in reaching out to others; but the reward of a friendship in the language of the gospel is the pearl of great price. A friendship is that which enables us to think of our friendship with God on this earth and our friendship with God in a place called Heaven.

The last quality is our relationship with ourselves. God has given you talents and abilities that he has given to no one else. In the language of God, no one should have a problem of self esteem or self worth because each one is created to His image and likeness. Fulton Oursler once coined a beautiful line and said American Catholics crucify ourselves between two thieves, regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. Each one of us has to remember that today is the day that counts in the sight of God, how we use each talent today, how we use our abilities today. We have to keep in mind that with each day passing we are utilizing every talent, not only for the glory of God, but for our own selves.

Jesus Christ gave a commandment many centuries ago when he said love, your neighbor as you love yourself. If you don't love yourself then, you will never be able to love your neighbor and you will fail in following the directive that Christ gave us many centuries ago.

There is no simple answer why we have so many psychiatric problems, there is no one simple answer as to why we have so many sociological problems, but there is one answer that produces greater happiness and greater peace of mind for each one of us. It is summed up in the word relationship. Our relationship with God, our relationship with others and our relationship with ourselves. It is a reminder we can do a for ourselves and a lot with our lives if we follow the basic teaching handed down from Christ when he said, love one another as I have loved you. Those are the norms of a perfect relationship.

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