Posted November 7, 2007
Hot Spot Where Fleas Freeze
If you’re hankering for an unusual vacation, visit Mount Raupehu, the loftiest rise on New Zealand’s North Island. This nine thousand-foot mountain is a semi-active volcano with a sixty-acre crater lake nestled in its peak-a steaming lake of hot water surrounded by walls of solid ice and snow! Too hot to swim in, the lake is used by tourists for boating amid surrounding snow peaks.
Only intense heat rising from the volcanic core could keep the water hot in an otherwise frigid atmosphere, where not even hardy insects can survive. Similarly, only a soul continuously warmed by ardent love of God can maintain its fervor in a worldly atmosphere of icy selfishness, greed, lust, and pride, where Christ is ignored or all but forgotten. Jesus warns that in the end times, “because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mt 24:12-13).
Only a disciplined life of prayer, sacrifice, and devout reception of the sacraments can protect us against the cooling of our enthusiasm for things of God. The Lord’s warm compliment for our devotion is counterpointed by his cool warning, as with the early Christians at Ephesus: “You … have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love …. Repent and do the things you did at first.. .. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in … paradise (Rv 2:3-7).
“One-Minute Meditations for Busy People”