Sometimes despair can catch up with someone so unexpectedly, so stealthily, that one doesn't realize what hit them until it's over, for better or for worse. So I had my knockout 'moment' last week, when it seemed like everything good was out of sight, out of hearing and out of touch.
All those years of reading about the saints and their writings and their exhortations couldn't remind me what it means to love. Their words came all right: "See Jesus hanging from the Cross, see each one of his wounds, see his blood shed for us and see the ultimate meaning of love." In the Eucharist also, Christ who is so vast that the universe cannot contain Him, humbled Himself to be present in a tiny piece of bread; yet most of the times, alone and forgotten in the chapel until Sunday comes and a few people come to acknowledge Him. The omniscient and omnipotent God gave His Son to die for the bloodthirsty race of Mankind. What could be greater than this love? What indeed, is greater than God who died to save us?
But most of the days I work, I could not see this. I could not see Jesus in the people and in the situations around me. I do hear news, I do see & help people whom I meet who seemed to need help. Sometimes, all I could do is to offer my action & my prayers. Sometimes, there are situations at work where there is a conversation about our Faith and I would try to my best ability to defend the Truth, and pray that our words and actions may lead them to the Truth too. But otherwise, there is nothing in my work that reflects any of His Glory.
I realize that being a Christian must necessarily mean to belong to a community. How could a single person living an isolated life possibly be living a Christian faith? It must be lived with respect to other people!
As the Da Vinci Code movie sets to open this week, the hype it creates is in crescendo. Being Christian and Catholic, I feel pain each time the news report quoted that a member of the clergy 'attacked' the Da Vinci code; like the pain one feels when someone dear is getting hurt. There are fellow Catholics who could not realize what a grand blasphemy Da Vinci code is to the One that is our dear Lord. There are our brothers & sisters who could not freely live their Faith (or live it in fear) in many places like Indonesia and China. There are poor people, lonely people, lost people amongst us. There are many souls in purgatory to pray for. While I may not 'feel the love', I believe that love is an action before it is a feeling, and I have hope that the fruits of love is more than just a feeling!
A priest I spoke to last week advised me to keep faithful, cultivate better prayer life and pray even more earnestly. Here's a lovely passage from St. Josemaria Escriva, on finding our Lord, who is Love:
For myself, the only fear I can imagine is that of turning away from Love. God Our Lord certainly does not want us to be inhibited, timid or lukewarm about our dedication to him. He wants us to be daring, courageous and refined. When the sacred text speaks of fear here I am reminded of a complaint we find elsewhere in Scripture, 'I searched for my heart's love, but found him not.'—from: Friends of God: Mother of God and Our Mother, #277
This can happen, if one has not yet fully understood what it means to love God. Then our hearts can be swayed by things which do not lead to Our Lord and so we lose sight of him. At other times it may be Our Lord who hides himself. He knows the reason why. In such cases, he will be encouraging us to seek him more earnestly and, when we find him, we shall be able to cry out with joy, 'I took hold of him and I will never let him go.'