Abide in Me as I abide in you. John 15:4
After nearly two years we finally reached the last Mark! It has been for me a long and fascinating study.
To study the Mark is to internalize righteousness and to tear it away from sin, that alienation from God, that mutation of His Spirit within us. Sin is the enemy of the soul, often disguised as something alluring, or beautiful, or irresistibly satisfying, like a mirage, but more like a sinkhole. Sin is poisonous; sin is fatal. Yet, not everything we assume to be sin, is sin. This is why the Mark must be studied.
All 94 Marks are summed up in this last one which is to abide in Christ.
We abide in Christ when we live in Him at the core of all His Marks, like in a home that shelters and protects us from exposure to all sorts of threats. As in a solid home, life in Christ feels so comfortable, so safe and secure, no matter what is going on outside. This is the life God wants for us, peace, love, joy.
How does Christ abide in us? Via our conscience, our prayers and the Eucharist. Through His Holy Spirit, He strengthens, counsels, comforts, and guides, encourages and protects us from the inside, out to our consciousness. Christ abiding in us links us to Our Father and to His army of guardian angels.
It doesn't get any better than this: to abide in Christ and to have Christ abiding in us.
Abiding is simple and it is difficult. It is simple because the Marks are clear and precise. It is difficult because our egos and our demons block the way.
This Mark is Jesus Christ's invitation to move in.