There is a common tendency today, as it was for me, over the last couple of months, to become distracted and drowned by the noise around us; not noise, in the physical sense, but rather a kind of “noise” that stirs up the peace, harmony and equilibrium of the Spirit...a type of noise that many in the world have too often failed to feel or even recognize; almost accepting this as a secular way of life.
The noise of our secular jobs, careers, financial pursuits, desires, wants...the list goes on and on. As mere human beings, created by a God who loves us, each day becomes a battle against these worldly temptations. Prophet Isaiah goes further to remind us today...
Breezing through life this way, without taking time to pause and reflect on the journey, I am reminded, has left a kind of empty void deep inside; it is a kind of emptiness and loneliness that is not easy to express in words. Often, many people will simply brush it off...whilst others will realise that this emptiness results from our original belongingness to our loving Creator, who keeps calling us back.
This, as I have come to realise, is because, we are first loved by Him and to Him we all belong, we are the Lord’s and St Augustine could not have put it better when he shared that, “our hearts are restless, till they rest in God.” Our hearts continue to have a deep burning love and desire for God, for oneness with Him, no matter how distant we have strayed away...no matter how distracted we have become.
Earlier this month, I stumbled across an old second-hand book by a legendary author, born in 1380 at Kempen, near Dusseldorf; Thomas a Kempis...yes, “The Imitation of Christ”, this version being a translation by Leo Sherley-Price; an influential writing for over 500 years.
Each page of this simple book glows with the reflected Light from the Holy Scriptures...the Word made flesh. Writing, journaling or even blogging is so important in order for us to leave a legacy for others. If not for Thomas obediently writing these down, we would never have been able to savour the beauty and wisdom of ‘The Imitation’.
In fact, Thomas also spent much of his time in the copying of the Scriptures; silence became his good friend, work his companion and prayer his aid. Of Thomas’ outwardly life, little remains to be told......why today, he would probably have been labelled as an “anti-social”.
Yes, many saints have fallen in love with this book and even more have experienced a sense of nearness to God upon reflection of the spirit-inspired pages within this book; second only to the Bible, as many publishers would testify.
I am hoping that this book will also rejuvenate me spiritually, in ways that will help me better deal and cope with the “noise” of the secular world; to become more aware of my own dependence on God’s love and the empty futility of my journey without the companionship of this one loving God. In short, to realize, live, love and work as if God is still relevant...in fact, God must be seen to be genuinely relevant in our lives lived...otherwise, dare we call ourselves Christians?
These days, many people have fallen astray, drowned in their busy careers and personal worldly pursuit of so-called success, self-glorification and accumulation of material wealth.
Experiencing the Stations of the Cross, the Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded each Lent, coupled with the strength that we can draw from the Passion of Christ is what makes being a Catholic, extremely privilege, special and exclusive.
The book, “The Imitation of Christ” appropriately reminds us in these excerpts: