“The gratuitous love of God is the answer to all questions.” St. John Paul II
On my recent visit to the Carmelite monastery near my home, I caught a glimpse of the new candidate as she entered with her few belongings to begin her new life. The cloister is small but growing. Their prayers are being answered. We all have many questions. I certainly do. I went to mass on the feast of the Assumption early in the morning. I knew one person there and our reaction was the same – was this feast day? It certainly didn’t feel like it. I thought feasts were something to be celebrated but instead I felt like I was at a funeral. Those burning questions we have are not simply answered at mass, but they are manifested there in a more concrete way.
“…Just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him – really rest – and start the next day as a new life.” St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Recently, I joined a choir. I do not have a good voice in my opinion, but they let me participate. After my dad passed away earlier this year, I decided to try new activities, so I began a search for something more. I do not think simply joining a choir will change my life, but it was a decision to start anew in many things. I am sure my dad is praying for his family as he enjoys heaven, and his prayers likely carry more clout than mine. My dad is surely looking down at us and seeing how he can help. Instead of trying to manipulate and change situations, I thought I should just be in front of reality.
“Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the angels and the saints – they are your public.” – St. John Vianney
Today was the feast of the archangels. I try to read about such great saints every day and I am fascinated by their lives. They are such remarkable examples for us as Catholics. The same day was the feast of Blessed Luigi Monza. He was falsely accused of plotting an attack on a fascist official. He was exonerated and he thus flourished upon his release. It was Christ who made the road ahead clear for him. It was likely not him who decided to take it upon himself and move. He was moved by his fidelity to Christ.
“Christians, each one of you must become an artist of souls, and we must paint the beauty of Jesus not on canvas but in souls. And may the paint brush of the hands of the apostolate never fall from our hands.” – Blessed Luigi
I would submit that, watching that candidate make her way into the convent that day moved me more than I could imagine. Watching people move towards Christ around me moves me also. Once my dad passed away, I maintain my strong contact with my mom. She came out of mass one morning and told me how she feels closer to Christ more than ever. It is in these moments that we realize Christ is the centre of our world and lives. No one else can replace Him. Then I feel a peace come over me.
“Happiness is not a destination, it’s a method of travel.” St. John of the Cross