My recent posts may appeal to the secular clique with the endorsement of the "here and now," but I must emphasize that those are not in accordance with the "drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" philosophy. When I say I'd like to make it a point to make the most out of the present--which just became the past a few seconds ago--I still prefer to maximize each "here and now" moment in a manner that will not cause me to dwell on the past or become anxious of what is to come.
After that pivotal event of my mother's illness and passing, instead of rebelling against all faith and divinity-related aspects in my life, I've become even more drawn and curious about the spiritual and metaphysical. Clearly, I never really thought that all this effort to live right now and pursue the moral good is for naught. In my gut there is something after all this. Yes, you can say it's heaven, eternal life, the resurrection.
I was convent school-trained. My family and extended family are religious--in spite of differences in organized religion membership.
There is something after all this.
I remember a poem that we were required to read in university that mentioned something about how God reveals the Truth little by little like salt (to taste). It wasn't because God is playing some kind of twisted game with a definite ending much like that movie Adjustment Bureau (but Matt Damon and Emily Blunt did control their own fate at the end of that movie), but that we humans are not ready to understand the Truth. Like when St. Augustine admitted that complete human comprehension of the Holy Trinity is like putting the entire ocean in a hole you dug from the sand.
I was at mass at St. Michael's Cathedral
this morning and the homily was fantastic. Before you click that "x" button on the upper right corner of your browser---indulge me. It was about how leaders during the time of Christ, wanted to clarify the resurrection (more of test and trap Our Lord, as was the theme)... how a woman lost a husband and that 6 of her late husband's brothers married her after each died one after the other. She never had children. And so the question was that in heaven, whose wife would she be? And Christ says that in the resurrection, we attain the pinnacle of our existence and that the earthly relations no longer apply--we are all children of God. The intimacy we experience in our mortal lives is superseded by a divine intimacy. The happiest state imaginable.
It is unimaginable right? What is proof if this afterlife, after all? The priest simply uses Christ as proof.
I'm not convincing non-believers to believe. Belief, in my opinion, is a choice. One chooses to believe. When one has made a choice, no amount of convincing will change that belief. Now I'm very critical of myself. I have always wanted to believe--and that is why I've been trying my best to educate myself. I have once stated (and perhaps I may have read/heard this someplace) that doubt is not the opposite of faith---it is essential to faith.
Going back to Christ--I've often wondered why Christ had to be both man and God. Why not implement His divine abilities during the times He was being put down. It's like you want to root for Him, but why is the story line's script written that way? Simply put, we are the audience. Everything is about educating us. The basic question of "how do I live?" ---> Imitate Christ. Metaphorically of course; not in the rabid fanatical flog yourself or make people crucify you on a cross. Before I elaborate on the imitation of Christ...again, why did He have to be both man and God?
I remember one doctrine class I attended and the very charismatic and funny priest said that he would answer the question of Christ's dual nature by saying "I don't know, I'm not God." After which the priest said something like "well, man committed the greatest disobedience (Adam and Eve + ate the fruit of knowledge because the serpent convinced them that it would make them all knowing as in God) and this credit can only be settled by another man = Christ. However, debt with God as the creditor can never be settled fully by just a man so Christ had to be divine as well. I suppose it's oversimplified, but it did make me nod my head and scratch my chin.
So how to imitate Christ, eh? It's the proverbial (and book title) "the road less traveled." Golden Rule. Love. Do wrong to none. Do ordinary things extraordinarily well. Arm yourself with the sacraments. Acts of piety. Pray. Be inclusive. Be like Christ...He hung out with the tax collectors, prostitutes, beggars, fishermen, sinners. The road to holiness is to live a life that will make people wonder...what is it with this person? Why is this person still happy in spite of *insert whatever applicable predicament*? Why is this person motivated?
We don't have to proselytize like those gifted people who can do that. We aren't all called to the religious life right? Some of us--most of us are ordinary. St. Josemaria Escriva (the saint of ordinary life) espoused using our work as our way to holiness. Be punctual, be diligent, be respectful, do not be judgmental, aspire for humility, have self-mastery...doable little things. No bells and whistles or overt acts of self-righteousness.
And that is how I aim to maximize the "here and now."
*Postscript: St. Josemaria's emphasis on work isn't just referring to the common job but actually one's vocation: parent, spouse, student, politician, volunteer, etc.
Labels: introspection, opinions, reality