Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Christian joy is compatible with pain

         “Whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty”.

           The initial difficulty in comprehending these words of our Lord comes from the fact that our experience tells us otherwise. We eat, become full and get hungry again. We quench our thirst with ice-cold drinks but we get thirsty again. To say that Jesus is simply speaking metaphorically would not help a lot. For then, we shall ask: “What kind of hunger or thirst is He talking about?”
  One immediate reply is the spiritual hunger and thirst that the modern man is experiencing. But what exactly does it mean to each of us? Elections are fast approaching. Yet, people today are lamenting over their difficulty to choose their candidates. They are confused. They don’t know whom to vote for. Spiritual hunger or thirst could take the form of “not knowing what one wants”. What do I want in life? Happiness? How do I distinguish the real from the false one? How do I get real happiness?

           Do you know what you want and what it is that you want to do in life? Do you think it is also what God wants you to do? Does our knowledge and friendship with Jesus help us to know what we want and what God wants of us? The answer is a big YES!

            A guy, for instance, who seems to find no direction in his life, no meaning in all that he does, suddenly becomes alive when he falls in love with a girl. Everything changes. All his energy is now focused on one thing. He suddenly knows what he wants: to please his girlfriend.

            The same is true with our relationship with Jesus. Once we fall in love with Him, our life becomes colorful. Suddenly, we know what we want: to please Jesus. In the Acts of the Apostles, we are told that “many people who were paralyzed and crippled were healed”. Truly, all types of paralysis and laziness are gone once one is in love. Have you noticed that when one is in love, he or she becomes creative?

             But does it mean no more hunger, thirst or suffering? No. Christian joy is not incompatible with pain and suffering. In fact, they contribute to it by making it more profound. Sorrows in life make Christian joy deep and lasting. It becomes salvific. Once suffering is united with the cross of Christ, it ceases to be suffering. As St. Josemaría said:
            “Is it not true that as soon as you cease to be afraid of the cross, of what people call the cross, when you set your will to accept the will of God, then you find happiness, and all your worries, all your sufferings, physical or moral, pass away?
“Truly the cross of Jesus is gentle and lovable. There, sorrows cease to count; there is only the joy of knowing that we are co-redeemers with Him”.

               Only when we learn to unite our sorrows with the cross of Christ can we truly comprehend the words of Jesus: “Whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty”.

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"Sacerdotes, 'consagrados en la Verdad'"

Estar inmersos en la Verdad, en Cristo, de este proceso forma parte
la oración, en la que nos ejercitamos en la amistad con Él y aprendemos a
conocerle: su forma de ser, de pensar, de actuar. Rezar es un caminar en
comunión personal con Cristo, exponiendo ante Él nuestra vida cotidiana,
nuestros logros y nuestros fracasos, nuestras fatigas y nuestras alegrías -es un
simple presentarnos a nosotros mismos ante Él. Pero para que esto no se
convierta en un autocontemplarse, es importante que aprendamos continuamente a
rezar rezando con la Iglesia.