We don’t do well with pain or the common cold. A premonition of an upcoming debilitation sends us into a dizzying spiral; we eventually may make our peace with this disturbance or choose ‘not to go gently into that good night’ (Dylan Thomas) because complacency and mediocrity have no place in our Christian lives. Life is fragile, but that is no reason to be complacent. We embrace life and even death as part of the blessed human experience.
Crossing our deserts and carrying our complaints while cursing the sandstorms must give us pause to evaluate.
How do we find any respite when the journey wears out our patience? Only look at our redemptive icons, our Catholic icons – the Holy Family, a dove, the Last Supper murals, and the Cross; our exaltation overshadows that severe pain of cross-carrying and even cross-execution.
What are we looking at? Some guru? The medicine cabinet? A bottle of elixir fantastic? A devilish temptation? Through Moses, God gave those desert travelers a bronze serpent to look upon, thus saving themselves from death. God turns the devil serpent to God’s will. Serpent-devil offers death, and God offers life.
Let’s cast our eyes on the baptismal font – God calls us; next, the ambo – God speaks to us; then the crucifix – God’s love for us; and then the Body and Blood of Christ on the altar – God’s gift to us. But our gazing is not complete. Let us look upon each other to complete this holy cinquain (a class of poetic forms that employ a 5-line pattern), for God is before us.
Remember Saint Dismas, who accepted his cross and placed his faith and hope in Jesus to be remembered. And we know the rest of the story. We are meant to be to exist.
Saint Peter Julian’s letter to a suffering Ms. Giguet: See Divine Providence in everything…
So be it.
Dear Lord, May I look for you in all the right places and see your wondrous works.