Sunday, March 29, 2009
Understanding some Scripture requires living it; in losing many things recently, I have saved my life
I always had trouble understanding the Scripture I heard last night at Mass.
Christ is preaching to the crowd and says that whomever loves their life, will lose it; whomever hates their life because of this world will save it.
I don't like to use the word "hates", but I do not love my life in this world anymore. I have lost so much in a short time: my health to almost dying, my career of 34 years, my marriage, my cat of 18 years and worst of all, my mother, my hero and best friend. She decided to break my heart and go to heaven last June.
But in losing, which God did not cause, he has provided me refuge, to be closer to Him than at any time of my life. And I am most blessed than I ever thought possible.
I used to only pray the Rosary when I was in trouble. I now pray it every day out of joy and gratitude. I now work full time for no pay for the most deprived children of this city. And now I am just two months from the greatest achievement of my professional career. I'll let you know when it has been accomplished.
I no longer follow a busy schedule and career and buying more and more -- the false gods of this world. I now have time to sing in the choir to God's glory at church, instead of just being an observer in the pews. God truly expects more of us and deserves as much.
And it is all because I hate my life.
Because in hating it because of this world, I love God more. And my ultimate goal is not how much money I earn or fame I gain, but to die as Christ did so I can be reunited with my mother, my aunts, my grandmother and of course Our Lady of Guadalupe and Christ for eternity.
Usually, we only think of this goal after the day is over and we say prayers, or on a Sunday morning. But that is not saving your life. It is forgetting about it. And one day your busy schedule will be stopped and you'll look around for support. You'll lose the things of this world that you thought so important and realize they're weren't. Not even close.
God will be there, though, but He shouldn't be. But he is always faithful, even if we are not. And I sure wasn't when the doctor told me I had terminal leukemia on Dec. 15, 2005.
Leukemia has turned out to be the greatest blessing of my life. Through it, God brought me back to Him. I was able to leave behind all those false gods that made me love the life of this world and now save my life for the hereafter.
I should be overjoyed that the chemotherapy I have taken since Dec. 2005 will end next month. My doctor calls me a walking miracle. Actually, I am a reaffirmation of Scripture, and God's remarkable ways in making us into who we should be, not who we think we should.
Am I cured from leukemia? I guess. But that really doesn't matter any more to me. The real threat to me was this world, and its false gods that I worshipped in my career and busy schedule and in owning a nice home on a hill in the 11th most affluent county in the nation. Country music stars and pro athletes abound there with their fame and fortune. I don't begrudge them that. It's just that one can get so far off track without even knowing it.
Now I live in an apartment without TV, and I have no intention of getting cable or Direct TV. Television really is not necessary. Internet is king. I live just with my kitty cat. I don't cook big meals anymore as I used to, so I am as slender as I was in college, which provides for great health and loose-fitting clothes. I delight in not suffering from the middle-aged man mound hanging over my belt.
There are many things we actually can do without in this nation to accommodate more difficult economic times. From generation to generation, we seem to layer on possessions. Now is a good time to start peeling them back and remember how our parents and grandparents lived -- and prospered. Indeed, they took us everywhere without an SUV with DVD players in the back for the children.
Yes, sometimes I get lonely. I am a people person as my mother. I have lost friends who do not understand the truth I have lived. If Christ's words cannot convince them, however, mine sure can't.
But I have saved my life, for the world to come. I have plenty of oil for the bridegroom whose return we wait. Maranatha!
O, Lord, thy ways are true. And now I have understood your Scripture -- by living it.