What now? We go back to business as usual...back to the grind…back to our own lives…financial worries, unemployment, sickness, terminal diseases, exams, 'Hollywood' marriages, indifferent attitude, laziness, injustice, work stress, suffering, discrimination, character assasination, corruption, etc? Sucked back into the whirlwind tornado of chaos and noise of the world.
How easy we humans forget… Are we merely an ‘event’ type of people? How do we sustain our lives…our journey with the flame and light of Easter?
This seems to be exactly some of the thoughts that are running through my human mind these past few days.
I remember almost a year back when I chose, after much praying and discernment, to take a sabbatical from work (the ridiculous stress!)…and found much needed quality quiet time to reflect on my spiritual interior, read many spiritual literature, spent meaningful time with my family…my elderly mother…but most of all, the time to chart my thoughts here…to listen to myself…to listen to God…to allow Him to disturb me in whichever way He chooses…to find more clarity with my life.
It has not been an easy journey of late…surrendering everything to God…trusting Him…waiting for Him to lead… Easier said than done; the human condition. The fact remains that…faith alone does not feed the family…fuel your vehicle…pay for your groceries… Yet, amidst these so-called realities of life, I still feel a deep sense of calmness and trusting in the Lord…I continue to patiently pray and wait…while searching for a suitable income source...or whichever direction He choose to lead me. Nevertheless, being human, it can get pretty confusing and rough at times...
Reading Thomas Merton’s reflections today reminded me that Divine strength is not usually given to us until we are aware of our own weaknesses and that too, knowing that the strength received is a purely a gift from God.
My own journey through Lent, the Holy Week and Easter has been especially meaningful this time because I have put myself in this most vulnerable situation; some deem it silly, stupid and ‘such a waste’ to ‘throw’ away what is perceived to be a well-paying job. I choose to think of it as simply finding enough guts to finally empty myself before Him...awaiting for Him to fill me.
At times, I do find it a mystery of God’s love, to be able to gather the courage and faith to finally stand up for what is right, to preserve my own human dignity, rather than to be enslaved by the seduction of money and worldly corporate politicking…at the expense of others. The relentless pursuit of this whole 'rat race' or 'career advancement' seem to have just evaporated and overcome by the hunger to have to better relationship with God, at this point in my life.
This Easter, I learnt that the Cross is not merely to know my own suffering – it is to know that I am saved by the suffering of Jesus Christ, to be able to experience that I am saved by Him. To find true meaning to this short life's journey...towards something much greater at the end...in union with God and in communion with all the saints.
Throughout this past year, I am blessed to have been able to experience and truly appreciate the love and comfort of God, through the words, actions, support and love of my family especially, and friends.
It is only through Jesus that our lives are saved – He is truly the Alpha and the Omega…the beginning and the end. Spiritually, “no man is ever saved by his own suffering”, adds Merton.
Through the contemplation and blogging of my own thoughts, the Via Dolorosa, the Lenten, Triduum and Easter reflections, I have grown and gained more insight into the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ; growing stronger in union with God. Life can truly become more meaningful and its journey more worthwhile, if we know our God and come into a relationship with Him.
I now know more clearly that it is not by my own mere suffering that I earn God’s love. God did not create suffering and Saints are not made saints by mere suffering alone.
We need to freely choose to make time to build on our own relationship with God, with ourselves, our families and our neighbors in order to be able to know and experience His love on this short journey through life.
Only then will we, as pilgrims, grow in the awareness that suffering, in the here and now, does not really matter…suffering, in fact, destroys what is not important to our relationship with God. Alleluia! Alleluia! We carry the hope in us as we are Easter people...continually refined by the Lord...into His image.
This Easter season, I invite you to contemplate and reflect on…what is it that you love most in life?
As for me, myself and I...this journey back home continues with hope...simply and quietly...meeting more companions along the way...