Monday, April 1, 2013

The Story of a Soul

Before I had children, there would be times when I would be praying before and after communion at Mass and wondering what everyone else was praying about/for (now I'm just trying to keep the littles quiet, but that's another post!). What were their burdens? Their joys? Their sorrows and desires? It was an immense experience for me realizing that we each lifted our own hearts to Christ, and in return, Christ would answer us all, each and every one of us, in His time, His wisdom and His way. I was leading a reflection on the Good Thief on Good Friday, and someone asked the question, "When Jesus tells him that he will be with him in paradise, does he mean just the good thief, or everyone since he asked God's forgiveness for them?" What a deep and profound question. 

In that moment, I know the Holy Spirit took over, because I most certainly am no theologian or Scripture scholar. The only answer I could give, and one I believe was inspired, was that at that moment, in St. Dismas's plea to Jesus to remember him, Jesus answered. Jesus answered one specific person at that specific time for that specific purpose. Though he answers us all, and certainly offers his mercy to each of us who earnestly seek to reconcile ourselves to him, at that moment Jesus spoke in an intimate way to St. Dismas. Just think - he cares for each of us in the very same way and with the very same intimacy! Now, I could have been off in my theology or interpretation, but I still think it is an important lesson.


A friend posted on Facebook about a sweet encounter she had with an older gentleman who appreciated her child even through his toddler moment, and reassured her that she was, indeed, doing a great job. Who doesn't like and need to hear that every now and then? It made me think of those same older people who absolutely love seeing my children despite (or because of) their outbursts, and how their eyes light up. My own mother does this very thing anytime she sees a child, which usually leads me to roll my eyes and sigh. Yet, each of them has a story, a history of joys and sorrows, desires fulfilled and unfulfilled, love still to share. I wonder at each of them. What is their life now? What was their childhood like? We've seen so much change in the twentieth century - what have they lived through? So perhaps next time I won't roll my eyes at my mother (or at least I'll stop mid-roll). I'll remember that she, and every other person I meet regardless of their age, is struggling to realize her purpose . Each of them has traveled life's journey, a road I really know not much about. It reminds me of a quotation attibuted to Plato - "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Just a few thoughts on this Easter day...

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I'd love to hear your thoughts! Rest assured I do read each and every word, but please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away. The toddler tugging on my leg and the one year old pulling my hair may have seized control of my typing abilities. Blessings on your day!