I read somewhere that in order to keep life simple, we have to get into the habit of making decisions so that no matter what happens in life we make up our minds to either change or accept. It isn’t the losses, the hurts or the fears that cause trouble in life. It is the refusal to make up our minds whether to accept it or change it. Staying in the middle leads to emotional turmoil. Making a decision will simplify anyone’s life. Today’s first reading was about Job. His usual reaction to problems or successes is “The Lord giveth; and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” He kept life simple.
Another contribution to making life unmanageable is the danger of resentments. Almost all problems can be tied to resentments. We hang on to our hurts. We re-feel and re-feel the hurt, which complicates every action. It is amazing to what lengths resentful people will go just to get even. To simplify our life, we need to practice letting things go.
There is a new commercial where a meeting takes place to find the answer to a problem. One of the attendees suggests “blamestorming”. Are we blamestorming others for the problems in our life? If we are, expect to feel miserable for a while. Until you see your part in your own misery, you will continue to flounder around in a problematic life.
I don’t say I have all the answers. Perhaps I can say I have one. In order to make my life simpler, I need to make a decision about changing something or accepting something.
One December morning about eight or nine years ago, I sat on the 100 High Speed Line rolling out of the station high above the Schuylkill River. I witnessed a bright orange sunrise and the rushing water past snow-covered rocks which seeped into every part of me. I was filled with the wonder of the Creator. I never felt so filled, yet my mind went to the back-and-forth wonder of whether Jesus was truly God.
In my gratitude for being alive and a witness to the beauty of the world I lived in, I could sense God. I could see God in the natural wonder, I trusted God in my spirit, yet my mind continued its volley this way and that trying to capture God in logic. Finally not wishing to feel the pull of the mind when all else reveled in deep love, I asked God to help me understand. I heard a voiceless answer say with poetic emotion, “I gave you Jesus Christ just as I gave you this sunrise.”
In that instant, a peace beyond all understanding flowed into my mind (the only area of tension) and I smiled. Ah, the beauty of the early winter morning! Ah, the beauty of snow-white-covered tree branches and rooftops! Ah, the beauty of the God Man who lived two millenia ago!
I watched the morning landscape change outside my window knowing there is a wondrous Creator that I cannot imagine. This morning, though, I imagined Christ, my brother, beside me on the train. I was never happier.
Heading home is a journey we begin at birth. We have our assignments: to love God with all our heart, mind and soul AND to love our neighbor as ourselves. I am assigned to listen when I am being spoken to, to offer love and clarity when I can, and to remain quiet when I can’t say something helpful. We are called to add to the world…something I didn’t realize for a long time.
If I listen when I am stopped on my journey, the answers abound. I must listen for the guidance that is all around me. I must offer clarity and love even when I am not moved to do so. It is the highest law. I must trust my inner voice – the still, quiet voice – the guidance. To remain quiet when I can not say something helpful is to recognize that guidance is called for – not criticism. We are all on the same journey. We are all heading home. Some of us are not conscious of it, some of us are. We are all at different segments of the path. When a brother or sister appears before me, I am called to love. I am called to love in all my thoughts. I have one dream – to get home. I have many thoughts that may or may not be loving. If they are not loving, I must edit them until they are.
People come and go from my path. I am where I am because they were on my path to begin with and they helped me keep to the right road. Today I must continue my journey. I will encounter other brothers and sisters, some I will know, some I will not, but I will greet them with loving thoughts.
God, relieve me of the bondage of self! Let me love You and all men freely!
G. K. Chesterton said “The Lord wills to “let His face shine upon” us through the face of the Mother of God. We “serve a Mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed.”
On this feast of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, may we all seek a peaceful world through her intercession and may we be examples of peace to our “neighbors”. May our faith, a gift of God, deepen in 2009 and may the Queen of Peace intercede for us as we go about planting the seed of trust in the one true God.
In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets. Now he speaks to us through His Son, the fruit of Mary’s womb. Praise be his Holy Name!
All peace is God’s!
Knowing the silence, I am warmed. Knowing the stillness, I am alive. To be is joy beyond limit. I breathe a perfect moment, glistening in the quiet morning. There is no symphony, no melody more haunting than now. Nothing moves around me while I sit with God and listen. I am all and yet I am nothing. Just peace. And all peace is God’s!
The Happy Catholic (Today The Peaceful Catholic)