He was sound asleep in his room. His son came creeping in and spread some smelly blue cheese on his nose. When he woke up, he immediately smelt the nasty odour. He said to himself, “This room stinks today! Probably it’s because all windows are shut.” He went to the sitting room but even here there was the same malevolent smell. “The sitting room stinks too!” He opened the door in order to let in some fresh air and let the bad smell out from the house. But even the air outside was reeking that day. All he could say was: “The whole world stinks today…”
Obviously the problem was not the bedroom, or the sitting room, or the world. The problem was what was sitting on his nose. The problem was in him. A lion was brought up in a forty by twenty feet cage. All day he would walk forty by twenty feet. When the cage was removed, he continued to walk forty by twenty feet. It was as if the cage was still there… And really it was for him.
This is why what we really need in life is someone who removes the blue cheese that is inside us!
I only know of one who can do this. When on earth, Jesus Christ made very preposterous assertions. Seven times, He says ‘I am…’! I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world. I am the door of the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Resurrection and the Life. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am the true Vine. Maybe He is not exaggerating at all!
Archbishop of New York Timothy M. Dolan in his book Priests For The Third Millennium, tells the story of Charlie Marsh, who at an early age suffered a debilitating paralytic stroke. He was a vigorous athletic young man who found himself immobilized and bedridden. He could only communicate by blinking. One Friday, when Father brought him communion, he was surprised to find Charlie perplexed. He was blinking rapidly and his usual composure and smile were gone. He summoned his wife who immediately realized the issue. “Oh Father, please move aside a bit. Charlie always likes to look at the crucifix on the wall and you are blocking his view.”
Jesus Christ helps us to see clearly. A man shabbily dressed went on a bus and sat beside an elegantly clad woman. This woman realised that he was only wearing one shoe. “I think you lost a shoe” she said. “No ma’am, I found a shoe… and I wore it!”
A young woman once phoned the parish asking to speak with a priest. She said she has a serious marital problem and she needed help. I made an appointment with her and she came. During two hours one afternoon, it became clear that money, family, religion and sex were four things that had been distorted or neglected in her marriage.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.