Watching the clips of Saving Private Ryan are always tear-jerkers, but on this past Wednesday night’s showing, when Private Ryan asks his wife, “Tell me I led a good life. Tell me I’m a good man.” I thought, “Isn’t that what we all want in life—somebody to acknowledge that we have lived this life well?” In our group discussion on Wednesday, we talked a lot about following God’s plan for our life. We were searching for an example of someone in today’s time that was a true example of what real surrender looks like. Mother (Saint) Teresa was our closest present day example. ALL the Saints are examples of surrender and they are living, even if we can’t see them, but we were looking for someone “in our midst” that was an example. We all have a lot of work to do! If we are all striving to be Saints, we need to be examples to each other. As I prayed about this the next couple of days, I realized I am always looking around for someone to show me how to do this. Jesus, Mary and the Saints have shown us time and time again how to do this, but, at least for me, if I am honest, I always think there has got to be an easier way. Hasn’t some Saint-in-the-making, friend of mine out there, found a short cut to becoming a missionary disciple, a path void of suffering, to help me sell out for Jesus? An easier way to “earn it?” Nope! When I talked with my kids this week about if they think daily about how Jesus has rescued us—how he has been our emergency vehicle, they gave me the honest answers. The reason we don’t think about what Jesus has done is because WE have made other things in our lives more important. It is as simple as that.
When we go to Mass, we participate in the summit of our faith. This is one of the most important things we can do as a family. “The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the font from which all her power flows. It is therefore the privileged place for catechizing the People of God. Catechesis is intrinsically linked with the whole of liturgical and sacramental activity, for it is in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist, that Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of men.” (CCC, 1074)
We get all that we are looking for in life at Mass. At any place in the world, at any time, in any decade, even when the world seems to be falling apart, the Mass is a universal constant. We get to encounter the authentic love and mercy of Jesus–every time. One of the readings this week said “Christ is the same yesterday, today and always (Hebrews 13:8). Every Sunday He gives himself to us in the Word made flesh and in the Eucharist. Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you. We have an opportunity every Sunday, and everyday to “know” the authentic at Mass—Jesus never changes. How refreshing is that in today’s world?
I am constantly in search of the authentic —I think we all are. Nobody is looking for counterfeit anything in life, yet, we settle for counterfeit all the time for fear that this is the best it gets. We want authentic friendships/marriages. We want people in our life that enjoy spending time with us for who we are. People who want to get to know the real “us.” We want real friends, not imaginary friends. Jesus is a real friend. He wants to spend time with us-always- and we should desire to spend time with Him. He wants to know us intimately, and if we are not ready, He waits patiently.
Thank you for the gift of your self. Forgive me for the times when I have not wanted to spend more time with you– when other things have been more important. You continue to show me the real meaning of love. You have shown me that love isn’t easy. There is no love without sacrifice. The Mass reminds me of this all the time. The Mass brings me peace because with you I am safe—you rescue me. I come to you impoverished and broken, and, yet, I am never a burden to you. You take all of me in whatever state I come to you. You see me for who I am.
Help me to be a witness of love and mercy to others. Give me the humility to let these not be just words in my prayer journal. Give me the humility to recognize how I need to be different in my life. I beg for your pardon when I fail. There was a time in my life when I thought I knew better than you what was good for me, but you have chipped away at my walls and I have slowly, let you in. But, I know it’s not time to stand still. Every day, it is time to make a decision to give my all to you. I can barely write these words– that’s how broken I am. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for not giving up on me. Help me see the joy in the process of purification. I have been here before and I know that for every period of trial, your joy always awaits around the corner.
I have many people on my heart and mind to pray for today. I pray especially for (names left out for respect of those I am praying for).