Hi all my dear friends and readers,
When a person decides in terms of a life-long commitment for his or her life, it involves a great decision of fidelity for the rest of that persons life. What thought goes into such a decision, one can hardly fathom. But fathom I did and the result is a life-long commitment to go where my soul searches into the vast depths of truth that lie beyond. Here I am at the shores of a new life, a life that gives new breath along the way. I am at the threshold of a great new journey that will continue till my last breath, continue till the end. In fact, this end is even beyond my death.
If you have had quite a bit of poetic language already, do not expect it to stop!! My life has always been poetic and I have always been the optimistic romantic, full of hope and faith. This poem that is my life has as its next chapter, my decision to embrace the religious life. This is the step that I am taking to the wedlock of Jesus Christ. Take another breath if you cannot quite believe what you just read. Take yet another breath. Yes, and another.
What???? Really???????? How ... How on earth ... Where did that come from???????? A bolt in the blue?????? ...... Jesus Christ!!!!!
Before you start wondering about the details, let me tell you the story. In April this year, Fr Robert and I met in the most unbelieveable of circumstances. He is an American of Spanish origin. He told me about what I still cannot believe I heard in this life. He told me that God has this message for us -
"Be holy, my child, as I am holy"
What this message means to me is that I am called to be pure in heart and chaste in mind, called to unselfish and generous, loving to all and firm in virtue always.
But who would have thought that this is possible in this generation? Who would have thought that this could be feasible? I thought this was good enough to leave my work and all. But, I knew that I was being good by working well and being a good friend at work and a good son at home and a good spouse if I am married, being a good servant in my church community, doing charity, stripping myself of pride and prejudice, working to strive to follow the life of Christ as in the Gospels (the Gospels are the life of Jesus Christ, found in the Holy Bible).
What this father told over email was that I continue to work here in Bangalore and continue to grow in holiness. I started a Spiritual Examination, to share with him my faults and weakness, the temptations that caused me to sin, and all evil and prejudice in my heart. He helped me fight the evil thoughts in my heart and mind, the tempations, especially the sexually explicit media that we all combat each day.
Despite my failures, these people were extremely generous and always treated me with great love and affection. I went to Cochin twice. I learned that this Fr Rob actually was studying and working and planned to live a married life and did not know much about true fidelity to God or had not really considered it seriously. Yet, he, like so many others in this congregation have their own professions. (congregation is the word for a group of priests who have a way of living and live in a community with an organizational structure of its own and ideals of its own for evangelization and helping of poor/uneducated/or any group of people and so on). What I learned was that I could continue in the field of profession that I would otherwise, but that the work of God would be the first priority.
The main challenge for me was to sacrifice my other priorities on the altar of serving God and his people, to bring the love of our heavenly Father to those whom I meet and know. This was always in my heart like any of you know when you do charity of any kind, the joy you get for yourself, even if no other knows about the charity. All of us have this innate tendency to love and seek true love and good relationships and true wisdom, true meaning in what we do. I believe I am on the path of finding what for me personally is the true way.
Do read this poem which expresses the search of my life:
Searched I for happiness in cities great,
Shining and shimmering coins of gold,
All that the world flashed with pomp,
Money, materials and public fame.
Through all the hustle and bustle I went,
Until all my energies were spent,
And yet, no sign of goal did see,
Until time caught up with poor me.
There is a search in all of us -
Of questions that we are so uneasy about.
Why is this emptiness and void at dusk?
Am I doing what I am supposed to do?
And so as we tread those much touted roads,
Of want, desire and ambition,
And wonder why we never did,
See the truth we always wanted to.
So went I to the old dusty lanes,
Of rocks and thorns until all clouds cleared,
And a spring of young water signaled me
And said a voice - peace be with thee.
Why do you want to take than to give?
Why do you want to be loved than to love?
Remember that you were born through love,
And love it will be that can save you
There in those old poor streets I sate,
And thought and reflected and marveled,
And started a new way of giving, not taking,
And a wonderful peace and gladness did emanate.
So here's the plan. My goal for now is to land in Cochin in the beginning of the next year, 2006. That would the the first week of January 2006. To be able to do this, I inform my company of my resignation in the middle of December. Having done this, I have ample time to review my CV and see where I stand and where I wish to go from a professional standpoint. At the same time, I look for openings in Cochin in the week or two that I have.
You can ask me questions about how I made this decision if you have questions. Yes, it is true. How fathomable is for you to decide. This is my decision, not yours.
Zacchaeus, Come Down
4 weeks ago