As I reflect on the season of Easter, I am confronted with the question of how authentic is our faith. Does this season of Resurrection touch us in any way?
When we are baptised, whether as a baby or as an adult, we take on our Christian identity. The question is: What does this really mean as we go through each day? Sometimes we live our lives in such a compartmentalised way that we numb our awareness of the pain and suffering around us here in Trinidad and the wider world.
If we think about it, it makes no sense to criticise and practise a spirituality that is solo, not reaching out to others, not even in our families far less our neighbours.
The image of a single point extending out in concentric circles comes to mind: the single point representing God and the path to this point representing life’s journey.
Once we are baptised we start that journey to God with Jesus the Christ as our Saviour and as our example.
For us creatures, we cannot walk through this life to our Creator without being in communion with others, Christian or not! We must engage in the messiness of life, experiencing it in its totality if we are to be true to ourselves and Our Creator. As much as we try we cannot live in a sanitized world – ‘just me and my God’. As Christians we are invited to be the living example for others who may not know or experience any kind of love in their lives.
As pilgrims on life’s journey we need to take stock of ourselves regularly. Do I practice what I preach? Do I operate from a hidden agenda? Do I find time to nurture my spirit by periods of silence? When we love someone we are comfortable to be in their presence and be silent. So it is when we yearn for a deeper relationship with Christ.
Thomas Merton, the great Cistercian monk, tells of “the darkness of my empty mind, this sea that opens within me as soon as I close my eyes”.
Each day brings the opportunity for healing and forgiveness, for a deeper relationship with Jesus through a deeper caring and concern for persons, especially the most vulnerable around us.
If we truly believed in God’s unconditional love and forgiveness then we would be the first to reach out to the moments that allow us the opportunity to be instruments of God’s healing presence to others. As Christians, we can make a difference in our families, communities, workplaces, etc. Timothy Radcliffe OP wrote a book titled “What is the point of being a Christian?” In it he says that there should be something about Christians that puzzles people and makes them wonder what is at the heart of our lives.
Are our lives mainly about power, authority, money, corruption? We need to be honest with ourselves.
Tertullian, a pagan who embraced the Christian faith, wrote that people were astonished at how Christians loved each other. Is there really anything astonishing about how we live?
– Sr Juliet Rajah CHF, Directress of Catechetics, Archdiocesan Catechetical Office