It is a new year at the seminary. This sounds quite promising because it involves new classes, teachers, papers, schedule and many things to do. Yet, this definitely doesn’t sound very different from the reality of new beginnings for every human being. We all have responsibilities in our daily life and these many activities can disconnect us from our faith. In order to avoid this, I have generated a series of questions associated to my desired journey with Jesus and the realities of my faith in Him. Some of these questions are: Who am I? Where am I going? What is the ultimate end of my life? I have not tried to answer these questions superficially but on the contrary in I desire to meditate on these questions in prayer and in a very serious manner.
One’s daily life has thousands of complications and if I’m not sure what my goal in life is, I can become simply adrift. To use the analogy of being in a boat, if I fall into a thoughtless pattern in my everyday life, then finally, I will lose my way on the high seas in life. When one is on ship, the path is not visible on the high seas, but the port must be clear. Where are we going? This is essential And how would I define a safe navigation port? The port is the Lord Jesus. I know the words that only Christ is the way, the truth and the life, but how do I interpret His words? Are they ephemeral and empty or are based in vain sentimentality? How and where I can find answers that guide my life in every way to the safe harbor that is being in the presence of the Father. If my course does not clearly demarcate the route of my navigation, I can get lost by following false lights in the middle of the night. I have been on the waters when things are not as they appear and one can become lost very easily. Some can read the stars and Our Lady is called the Star of the Sea. Yes, she is a guide who always points us in the direction of the safe harbor in life.
Is every activity of daily life directed to the last end of my life, that end being holiness? Are these activities that I do consistent with what I believe, and are they guided by the teachings of the Church? There is no aspect of life that escapes the Love of Christ in His Church. The Lord has arranged for us to be molded by His Love and our daily activities should be a free response to His Love. But here, more questions arise. Do I have faith? What do I believe in? Do I believe in the truths that the Holy Catholic Church teaches for example, Heaven, purgatory and hell? Do I believe in only select teachings of the Church? Do I know the teachings and have a hunger through my seminary classes and outside reading to continue to learn the teachings of the Church? Do I look for answers concerning my faith when times are difficulty? Yes, life is full of activities and sometimes, we believe that carrying out those activities is enough to make us happy. Going from one thing to another is not always the answer to life. Saint Teresa of Jesus would caution that the busy life can harm one’s spiritual life. All must be rooted in Christ. We have been created by love and not simply by production. We are not machines programmed to do, do, and do. We have been created with a capability to know God and to relate to Him personally. In reality, this knowing and relating is only possible our Lord Jesus Christ. God gave us free will. We can choose to drift aimlessly in life or even do so out of neglect. The Word became flesh came with the goal of giving us the opportunity to enjoy His presence in Heaven.
So, this year I want to challenge myself to avoid doing things merely on a superficial level which will lead me nowhere. We can complain about the challenges of the way of Christ or embrace His way. I do not want, with the grace of God, to merely do, do, and do without any goal. On the contrary, I pray to be honest with myself about where Christ is in my life, and I want to live in the reality that is of God. To be lost on the high seas is dangerous. When Jesus is in our boat, we will always reach the safe port in life.