Monday, May 30, 2011

Some Lifted Burden

I took a road trip this weekend and listened to this book on tape and it really lifted some burden off of my heart and spoke to me in a different way so I wanted to share.  I tried to organize this so it is easy to read but I had to cut and slice lines together in order for it to make sense to someone who was not reading the book.  

  • “Play your part and don’t worry about what others do.  Believe that God also speaks to them and that they are as engaged as you are in discovering the meaning of life.”
  • “We are all sailors on an unknown sea, may he make us brave enough to accept this mystery.”

“We will never ever know the ultimate reason for our existence.  We might know the how, where, and when of being here, but the why will always be a question that remains unanswered.  The main objective of the great Architect of the Universe is known to Him alone and no one else.  99% of the people on this planet are, in their own way, struggling with that very question, why are we here?  Many think they found the answer in religion or in materialism; others despair and spend their lives and their money trying to grasp the meaning of it all.  A few let the question go unanswered and live for the moment, regardless of the results or consequences.  Only the brave are aware that the only possible answer to the question is, “I don’t know”.  This might at first seem frightening, leaving us terribly vulnerable in our dealings with the world, with the things of the world, and with our own sense of existence.  Once we’ve gotten over that initial fear, however, we gradually become accustomed to the only possible solution, to follow our dreams.  Having the courage to take the steps we’ve always wanted to take is the only way of showing that we trust in God.  As soon as we except this life takes on a sacred meaning, and we experience the same emotion the virgin must have felt when one afternoon in her otherwise very ordinary existence, a strange appeared to her and made her an offer, “Be it onto me according to thy word” said the virgin, because she understood that the greatest thing a human being could do was to except the mystery.  The only way they could truly participate was by following their own desires, their own dreams,  because that is how man becomes an instrument of God.  We don’t look for an answer, we accept, and then life becomes much more intense, much more brilliant, because we understand that each minute, each step that we take  has a meaning that goes far beyond us as individuals.  We realize that somewhere in time and space this question does have an answer; we realize that there is a reason for us being here, and for us that is enough.  We plunge into the dark night with faith.  We surrender ourselves fully to each moment knowing that there is always a hand to guide us.  And whether we accept it or not is entirely up to us.” 

“She didn’t have the same advantages as the crucified man before her, who had known what his mission was, because He was the son of God.  He had never made a mistake.  He had never known ordinary human love, only love for His Father.  All he needed to do was to reveal His wisdom and teach humankind the truth path to heaven. 
But was that all?  She remembered a Sunday catechism class, when the priest had been more inspired that usual.  They’d been studying the episode when Jesus, sweating blood, was praying to God and asking Him to remove the cup from which he was being forced to drink.   But why, if he already knew he was the son of God?” asked the priest. “Because he only knew it with his heart. If he was absolutely sure, his mission would be meaningless, because he would not be entirely human. Being human means having doubts and yet still continuing on your path.
She looked again at the image and for the first time in her entire life, felt closer to it. There perhaps was a man, frightened and alone, facing death and asking “Father, Father, why has thou forsaken me?”  If he said that, it was because even He wasn’t sure where He was going.  He had taken a chance and plunged, as all men do, into the Dark Night, knowing that he would only find the answer at the end of his journey.  He, too, had to go through the anxiety of making decisions, of leaving His father and mother and His little village to go in search of the secrets of men and the mysteries of the Law.”
            He had known people, wine, bread, parties, and all the beauties of the world.  It was impossible that HE had not also known the love of a woman, which is why he had sweated blood on the Mount of Olives, because having known the love of one person, it was very hard to leave the Earth and to sacrifice Himself for the love of all men.  He had experience everything the world could offer and yet He continued on his journey, knowing that the Dark Night could end on the cross or on the pyre.
            Lord, we’re all in the world to run the risks of that Dark Night.  I’m afraid of death, but even more afraid of wasting my life.  I’m afraid of love, because it involves things that are beyond our understanding; it sheds such a brilliant light, but the shadow it casts frightens me.
            “He had played his part and shown to the world that, if everyone played their part, no one else would have to suffer, because he had suffered for all those who’d had the courage to fight for their dreams.”


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