Inspiring Faith is a featurette written by parishioners. Check back for fresh content posted periodically.
Recently, while crossing the parking lot at our church, I heard a “clickity- clack” sound behind me. As a family began to pass us by, I looked over to see the source of the noise even though I vaguely remembered it from long ago. There was a lovely little girl who must have been walking in a new pair
of “heels”- one of the coming of age symbols for my generation.
Ages ago, maybe 70 years or so, I had my first pair of high-heeled shoes and they made that same sound. They had heels which were not very high, still they made me feel taller, as though I had somehow made it into the next “grown-up” stage of life!
Life is ever-changing and we tend to look forward to its next stage. As in the plant world and other observable systems, life comes and goes; thus, with the progression of age in our own lives, so do our attitudes and perspectives change. As our years accrue, our plans seem to focus on the
days and months rather than the years and decades, and rightly so.
Every day and even moments become precious, especially in our relations with family and friends. We tend to want to linger a litter longer with them so we can more fully remember their laughs, the sparkles in their eyes and their voices. The fragility of life is always present and that is true with young ones as well as well as with older folks.
Simple acts, such as petting a neighbor’s dog or holding a small child on our laps, can become paramount moments in our days. Pausing a little to enjoy the color in a cloud or flower or delighting in a spider weaving its web may delay the accomplishments of our regular daily chores and that’s fine!
Instead of “Carpe diem” (seize the day) as the ancient Roman poet, Horace wrote, we should try to “seize the moment”! The world may be here for a long time but we won’t, so why not say “Thank you” for all the joy that has and does fill our daily lives. Yes, there are sicknesses, wars and tragedies but over-riding it all, there is a huge flow of goodness and love. If our attitudes were those of gratitude, gratitude and more gratitude, we probably would be visiting fewer doctors and enjoying more sunsets. Simple acts of
gratitude may radically change the whole world into a much more humane and heavenly place.
May those new “heels,” which delighted that young woman, propel her to walk humbly with Jesus and inspire her to imitate His limitless love for everyone, all the days of her precious life.
Watching sports on TV, is one way we humans exhibit our need to look up to our heroes. We are quick to celebrate when “our teams” are winning. Aware of this need, St.Paul used sports imagery in 2 Timothy, 4: 7 when he compared his spiritual life to that of an athlete; he wrote:
“I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith” – Was he showing his pride in all of his accomplishments? Is it an accolade for his ability to “beat” all the others? Are we all really in a great race to become number one? If we look more closely at St. Paul’s words, we may better understand them.
I have fought the good fight to the end–What is this fight? Do we feel a fierce superiority toward others? Or is our fightan interior one; one in which we count on God’s love and power within us to lead us to goodness and truth?
I have run the race to the finish – Against whom are we running? Are we competing against our spouses, children, parents or everyone we know? Or, are we encouraging others to avoid sin, to thank God for their victories over darkness and error, to pray, choose friends wisely and avoid the people, movies or social media which can lead us farther away from our Lord?
I have kept the faith – Are we the sole caretakers of our souls? Do we take pride in our own spiritual steps or are we grateful children of our Creator and acknowledge his love, strength and grace working within us?
St. Paul was not bragging about his works during his life on earth, but showing us that the great gift we receive at the end is worth every effort, spiritual, physical and mental. This patron saint of our Church and many other saints, have shown us that it is possible to lead the Christian life. It isn’t easy but with the grace of God we can be filled with His peace, no matter what our circumstances.
On our own spiritual journeys, we need to be prodded and pulled by others, both those who are living now and those who are with our Lord. This is the team that we should not only root for but belong to; it can be the one that helps us become happier in this world and blissful in the next.
Our prize won’t be a gold medal but an everlasting life of basking in the love of the Trinity. We were made by and for God; He wants every one of us to be with him always.
“Our hearts were made for you O Lord and they are restless until they find their rest in you.” St. Augustine