“To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.” John Henry Newman
People do not like change so much in life. During the pandemic, we went from busy to still. A new job, a new parish priest, a new direction in life all would happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason is not what we expect or understand. I go with a group of friends to feed the less fortunate in my city. It is a centre run by the Franciscans. Some new people came with my group. My first reaction was no or at the very least, I would be hesitant. My first reaction was that I would have to train them and then the worry began from nothing. I thought, what if they did not respond to the charitable work we did. I asked my friends about it and then I needed to trust. They want to come again. Who knew? I had such useless objections.
“Lay all your cares about the future trustingly in God’s hands and let yourself be guided by the Lord just like a little child.” St. Edith Stein
The other day after mass, once the priest processed out, a good number of the congregation knelt and stayed behind in silent prayer. I was gobsmacked. I thought to myself as I made my hurried exit to the parking lot how faithful these people are and how hypocritical I was for rushing out. Then, I went back to join them. My conversation with the Lord was not finished by any means. I get afraid sometimes and probably more often than I should. I like to think that I am this faithful Catholic with such desire to serve the Lord. But I look at how many times I falter and fail at this task and then I realize how human I am. I know when I start to panic about things because I notice that I either lose sleep or lose my appetite or maybe have a bigger appetite. I make the mistake often when I worry by calling a friend or family member. Maybe I need to start laying my cares on Christ as St. Peter reminded us in his epistle.
“Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly entered into our (Christmas) night.” Pope Benedict XVI
It was announced that we would get a new parish priest. The moves usually happen in June. It is important for me to remember that my faith in Christ does not depend on a new parish priest but on my relationship with Christ. In every moment, I need to remember that He is the one whom I need to follow. I learned this is Communion and Liberation. We follow an experience and not just a person. Luigi Giussani taught us well.
“You wish to reform the world? Reform yourself, otherwise, your efforts will be in vain.” St. Ignatius Loyola
I traveled once to visit a friend in a faraway country. I had never been there before, and I was more than apprehensive about going. A friend had asked me to visit and help. I prayed hard about it and wondered if it would all be worthwhile. I had everything organized and I made my way. Things did not go as planned but that is not the point. What I needed to remind myself was the intention of going and not what I needed to get out of it. I went to help in the work that called me and not what I would get in return. I need to remember that I am loved by God. I am not my measure, but I am what God created.
“What is it you want to change? Your hair, your face, your body? Why? For God is in love with all those things and He might weep when they are gone? St. Catherine of Siena