LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
"WE aLL LIVE WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF BEING HAPPY; OUR LIVES ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND YET THE SAME..." ANNE FRANK
If I were Hermine Santruschitz (15 February 1909- 11 January 2010), aka Miep Gies (pronounced 'mip 'xis ), aka one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank... I would be, forever, a hero.
If I were to give up my comfortable life to work with and for the poor and the homeless, again, I would be considered saintly. So why then, when I try to care for someone's spiritual needs, am I not given the same consideration?
Why when someone is suffering from the malady of disbelief and I try to share the antidote that saved my life. . . am I, instead, humored, somewhat ignored, barely tolerated and in some cases treated with hostility? Why won't people accept the truth? It was not my personal strength, fortitude or resilience that brought me here, but instead my trust in God. After all, I have been the same person all along--and my life was a train wreck. If it were within my ability to live well, I would have been living well all these years. If I had realized that "sin" would cause my "train's derailment" and had every time, I would have made different choices. I am not stupid and appreciate pain avoidance. I am older now and understand cause and effect. I also understand that life doesn't allow you to put it in reverse, one can't travel back to the beginning and take the trip again. What is done is done. But honestly, every problem I have ever had was due to the Gospel not being lived. And that's the truth. And that is the lesson I want to share. Trust in God's love and live His teachings. But it is difficult to share this message.
My good friend does not believe in God. (I did not know this until recently.) We have been friends for over 20 years. I love her. All these years we avoided the subject of God, as though He were a hundred pound elephant in the room. I just thought it was a something she preferred not to speak about. I guess I just assumed that she had a "higher power" and that it just wasn't the same as mine. Unfortunately, she is God-less and for me this is as big a crisis as someone whose life is being threatened.
Having a dialogue with someone you love and who loves you should be an easy thing, regardless of the subject. But this is often not the case with people who do not believe in God. Try sharing all that God has done for you with someone who can only spell His name. It is impossible. God-less people have no reference point, their hearts are sadly hardened to His message and because they do not understand the experience of God, they get angry. Fear is fueled by lack of understanding. Fear fuels anger. "Replace fear with Faith," a half-paralyzed man once told me. Replace fear with Faith.
I watch my friend pace around the island in her kitchen preparing our supper while she asks me pointed questions she thinks she knows the answers to. Questions intended to make me realize my folly. All the while, I really only want to say the words that Jesus himself said to the Samaritan woman: If you knew the gift of God....
I wonder what keeps good people from believing in God? I wonder why those same people get so angry when they hear His name mentioned? This troubles me greatly because God is beauty and God is love and God only wants what is good and yet He is too often given a bad rap, misunderstood and abused.
My friend knows the difficult and dangerous life I have lived. She is fully aware of who I might have become if I had not chosen to follow Church teachings and I had not sought God's will in my life. So why then will she not connect the dots? Why does she refuse to accept a God that, if invited in could transform her life, as He has transformed mine? Why am I so different? And what makes her think she is so unlike me?
I cannot answer these questions. And neither can she-- satisfactorily . So I will do what I do most often these days. . . I will continue to pray.