Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Seeking paradise

I'm writing from a cafe in Kalamassery on a hot summer afternoon. There's little opportunity to post on the net since connections are slow here. It is a most blessed life for those who seek it. So it means that not everyone finds this same joy abounding.

Perspectives matter more in life than anything else. Last night we watched a movie on St Bernadette, the saint to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in a then nondescript French village, Lourdes. The dean said to the skeptic imperial prosecutor (appointed by the emperor to put in prison violators of the law) -

"For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation is possible."

Therefore, what one sees in life is based completely upon one's openness to Divinity. Certainly, many pass through life without believing there is any good in doing good. I do not attempt to convince anyone to the contrary if such are not open to Divinity. As for me, if there is no God or Divinity, there is nothing in human life at all.

I studied well and became an engineer. Providence provided this education and a good rewarding job. Providence would give me a wonderful opportunity to show the greatness of my faith. Heaven presented me the high road to realizing my life's purpose and fullness - to be like God our Heavenly Father. This was my calling and remains the most momentous message of my life, the call to follow Jesus Christ.

"You can live your life as if nothing is a miracle or you can live it as if everything is."

Indeed, believing comes before anything. Faith is the necessary precursor to grace and blessing. My life and yours can only work in blessing if we offer ourselves into Divine hands. Faith then is a relationship with one infinitely faithful. Knowing Divine faithfulness, we are called to be faithful ourselves, never give up on God.

Celibacy and religious life is like a call to marry God. It can be like a woman or man marrying his beloved and being called to be faithful. The woman or man may not see his or her beloved for many days, years or the whole life. Yet, the person is challenged to remain faithful even though people may pass rumors that the beloved is unfaithful.

I once met a newly wed young man who's wife had to leave immediately to Australia. He said they were getting closer through that experience. In the case of consecration to religious life, one does not see the loved one, yet called to be faithful. Experiences of God may or may not come. Even if they do, they may be rare.

To be a religious is a marriage sublime and Divine. It needs a far greater generosity than human marriage. Contrary to what many believe, it is possible to be faithful in such a relationship because Christ says "My grace is sufficient for you." Therefore, we need to continually seek this Divine grace to remain faithful till our end.

We should not stop at religious vows. It is only the beginning and we start this journey seeking to be close to God and communicate with Him. We should seek Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. This is the way to perfection of love. This is the answer to the brotherly love the world needs too. For to love God one loves ones neighbour.

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