Life Is Bigger
Life is full of lessons to be learnt. We
just need eyes to see, ears to listen and
a heart to understand. There are always more
dimensions than what is apparently perceptible.
At one high mass, a cardinal sat high on
a throne surrounded by a number of bishops.
When the cardinal rose to administer communion,
a disabled man slipped up into the sanctuary,
sat himself in the cardinal's seat and gazed
around him as if he wanted to know how one
feels sitting on that exalted chair! Obviously,
the Bishops around the altar were somewhat
nervous. No one knew how to act. Ignore the
situation? Invite the person to go back to
the pews? Force the issue? In the end nobody
did anything and the man remained seated
happily looking around.
When the cardinal finished giving communion,
he did the most sensible thing. He took up
a stool, placed it next to the throne, sat
down and chatted amiably with the person
with disabilities. It was quite a sight.
"The cardinal sitting in the stool and
the disabled person looking down at him from
the throne, the cardinal's humility was very
beautiful, and the disabled person had given
him the opportunity to show that for all
his importance, he too still had the heart
of a child."
Life is always bigger than what we think.
A great preacher of old, Hinson, spoke of
his own experience when he wrote. "I
remember a year ago when a doctor told me,
'You have an illness from which you won't
recover.' I walked out to where I live five
miles from Portland, Oregon and I looked
across at that mountain that I love. I looked
at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked
at the stately trees that are always God's
own poetry to my soul. Then in the evening
I looked up into the great sky where God
was lighting his lamps and I said, 'I may
not see you many more times, but Mountain,
I shall be alive when you are gone; and River,
I shall be alive when you cease running towards
the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when
you have fallen from your sockets in the
great down pulling of the material universe."
Yes, life is always one step ahead.
The problem is that we always want it different-
when it is hot, we want it cold, when it
is cold, we want it hot. Mark Twain, the
great US writer, once wrote, "Most people
are bothered by those passages in Scriptures
that they cannot understand, but as for me,
I always notice that the passages in Scripture
which trouble me most are those which I understand."
Resurrected? Yes. Crucified? No. Salvation?
Yes. Repentance? No. Love? Yes. Surrendering?
No. But life always comes in this paradox.
The rose comes with the thorns. The pains
come with the birth. The best of times can
only be lived because there are those times
that are so bad.
A missionary in Brazil visited a market town
and saw a sign in a store advertising "Cheap
crosses for sale". They were selling
fast! The hitch is that we may like cheap
crosses - no sacrifices, no cost, no pain
- but these crosses will never lead us to
a life full of resurrection!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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