Monday, August 18, 2008

Peace vs Sadness

No Other Life is the title of a book I read a good many years ago about a poor boy who grows up to be a priest and then leaves the priesthood to become president of his country. It is a fictional account of what actually did happen in Haiti in modern history. The book never did impress me but the title has remained in my heart. Especially when I find my life difficult or challenging or even more so when I am asked to sacrifice. The man in the Gospel today left Jesus and went away sad. He had a life that he made for himself and it included God. He had followed the commandments and he had been blessed, he was wealthy. Yet he was not satisfied deep down in the depths of his heart. Thus he comes to Jesus, but he will not embrace the life Jesus calls him to follow. He has a life. He does not want a new one. He just wants to tweak this one a little so that he can find peace. Instead he finds only sadness. How often we struggle in our spiritual lives with the same issue. We have a life and just want Jesus to tweak things in it in order that we may find peace. This attitude only produces sadness in our lives, even though we make God apart of our life. Jesus wants us to see that we have no other life apart from him. He wants us to see that he is apart of our daily lives. He is with us. This is a radical truth that we are called to embrace. It is as radical as his call to the man in the Gospel today. In essence we are called to abandon our daily lives to his loving mercy, to live in his grace. Not to ask him to tweak things so we can feel like we are okay and are doing a good job. This brings us sadness. Jesus is not tinkering with our hearts. He is molding them. Jesus gentle and humble of heart is making our hearts like his. This is what brings us peace even in the midst of struggle and sacrifice. We have no other life. Jesus is our life. We must place all our trust in him and not be afraid. We must listen to our Blessed Mothers instructions "Do whatever he tells you" in this we will find our peace.


cmjkaekg said...

Isn't it true that when we read that "the man went away sad," it doesn't necessarily mean he didn't intend on making the sacrifice asked of him? Perhaps he was sad because he was afraid of the sacrifice, but still planned on being obedient. We would do well to obey with a trusting and joyful heart, and not with sadness as so often is the case.

wrights9 said...

"Sadness is a vice caused by a disordered love of self."-- Thomas Aquinas. All God wants from us is total surrender of our hearts to Him. And the peace that springs from that choice we make each day will negate any sadness because our "treasure" is now in God and Him alone. No room for self!