Thursday, June 21, 2007

JP II: I miss you!

Last weekend found my mother, sister Emily, and me at the video store picking out the week's rentals. Chic flicks, action videos, and dramas sat beckoning us to choose them. However, one movie had caught my eye the last time I had been at the movie store. It was no romantic comedy or action thriller. Rather, it was a film about a simple saint known the world over.

As I sat watching the film John Paul II, I found myself becoming acutely aware of how much I missed the man behind that name. He was the first Pope I had known, and I knew him for a lengthy time. A simple man with a unique message, he suddenly met world fame like no other pope in history had. And yet, this did not attack his pride. Rather, he used this to spread God's message even further.

It was from his mouth I first understood the importance of Catholic young people. JP II called out to the young particularly because we have a special mission as new adults in a materialistic and immoral world. Rather than sheltering ourselves from this massive frenzy, we young Catholics should run to seek them. We should pray with them, as John Paul II did with the man who shot him.

It was JP II who started World Youth Day, a time when as many Catholic young people as possible can come together to pray, worship, and learn together. He would speak the most profound words at these functions, illustrating how God's message is not stopped by the barriers of continents and languages. No, God's message overcomes all obstacles.

I still meditate on various precepts of the Faith that JP II clarified during his time as Pontiff. His literature on Theology of the Body has made a profound impact and his numerous encyclicals have affected politics to a degree which many still cannot comprehend. Books, poetry, and other works by the man still circulate and touch readers everywhere. The man was amazing.

So, tonight, as I drift off to sleep, I shall pray that John Paul's message is still propagated world wide. I beseech that all Catholic young people realized the awesome responsibility they have as members of a degenerate society; that we must reach out and bring back the lost sheep. I pray that all who have been touched by John Paull II can give the messages and lessons to those who were not so fortunate to have known him. But, most of all I pray to always strive to put into action the lesson of Love that John Paul II taught through out his life. He truly was the personification of, "Preach the Gospel always, use word when necessary." JP II, we miss you.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Something is Missing

I have done a great deal in my life recently. I have finished two books in three weeks, moved half way across the continent, and graduated from college. When I look back on who I was a year ago and how much I have changed, I am rather surprised. My life a year ago was far different in many personal ways than now.

A little over a year ago, I was surrounded by my friends, many of whom lived on my dormitory hall. We spent a great deal of time together, praying, partying, studying all in one or two rooms. We played Ultimate Frisbee every Friday night, sat in Mass in the same pew on Sunday, and attended many of the same classes. My brothers were married to healthy happy wives and one of the new families was expecting a child. My family and home were in a wonderful condition, everyone was healthy and the home was in one piece.

Fast forward one year. I am now graduated and haven't seen my friends in a month, some for longer. I am having to make some huge and scary decisions about the future, like where I want to work and live. One of my sister-in-laws in sick and her health continues to rapidly deteriorate, while my brother can only stand there and watch. My family's home suffered flood damage and we don't have the money with which to fix it. I have other Crosses, which I shall not mention here.

I remember, a year and a half ago, life was full of luster, everything was new exciting. Things were rolling along. I jumped out of bed every morning and went to bed content every night. Every moment was exhilarating and every breath I took was exciting. I was happy.

I realized today I have not felt that way in for some time. Now, life is a struggle, everything is dull. Things are a struggle. I stumble out of bed every morning nad go to bed afraid every night. Some moments are a Cross and some breaths are more of a sigh. I am tired.

At Church this evening, I was reflecting why I felt this way. What was it that was making me feel this way about life recently. There is no excitement and I am afraid. Why? Then it hit me. To borrow a line from a movie, "Something is missing." Something is missing from my life that makes me feel this way. What is it?

I am not sure. I do know that most of this is probably because my life has been changing faster than I can blink, and the future is incredibly unstable and unknown. I place my hand in the grip of God and let Him lead me to where He wants to go. He will lead me through the dark and give me the missing pieces in His good time. Until then, I shall take it one day at a time until the days are exciting again and each moment is full of anticipation. And then, I shall again live in each moment.