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Thursday, July 2, 2009

A "Serious" Discussion

So what if I am too serious!? That is who I am. If you like serious, here you go. If you don’t, sorry I’m not for you. It’s that simple. I am also absolutely ridiculous and will act totally embarrassing and silly periodically because you have to have fun and you must rejoice.
But I cannot cease to be serious, I have learned both the mortality we face and the immortality offered us. Both call for the entire person to be aware!
I am clearly not serious enough, because if I was, God, Heaven, Holiness and all that comes with that would never leave my mind or heart. I would never sin. I would never judge. I would never elevate myself. I would never worry. I would only love, only give, only be thankful, in suffering and delight. That is when I am truly serious, when the whole of God is all that I can dwell on.
The ones who were, dare we say (and I still don’t agree) “too serious” are the ones who have been caught in ecstasy and are found floating towards heaven here. They could not be kept back. If anything, I am too “smart” to be serious enough. The simple ones are the ones who often see past the glamours and promises of this world and can become fully His. I would fit into the category of educated, which means I will forever fight the pride to think I am wise, or learned, instead of seeing the gift I have been given and keeping in mind the many other gifts given to others which I do not posses, such as the gift of simplicity that leads to such speedy possession by Christ.
So if I am too serious, they who would say so do not yet understand what is at stake. Sadly, they must continue to dwell in the thoughts of the world, the lies that say that “religion” is serious and being “religious” is serious enough. There can never be “enough.” Truly. Not if we understand what is being discussed. Not if we have, even for a moment, stood at the precipice of God’s infinite and immense sea of love! It is turbulent in its hunger for our souls. It is calm in its perfection for our peace. It is wind swept in the passionate heat of a heart on fire for the very life breath of every human being.
This is the Father of his children we are speaking of! Could he do anything else but be zealous for our hearts?! That would be contrary to his very nature as Father. By his grace and love we persist as his adopted children. By his very Son he chose to make us so. If his sacrificial love would not cease nor be satiated, even to the point of offering his own Son up to our hatred and sin, our life and death, how can we think there will be a point of “too much” for our return of this love. It cost him a life. And as if that wasn’t enough, it was the life of one dearest to him! And we don’t want to give up a nicer seat in a car because our sister wants to sit there? Are we serious? No! We aren’t! We aren’t keeping in mind the existence of that passionate, living, sea of love. It is real. We are living in a dream world, sometimes unable to see that the real world is just an act of love away.
Why do they say we “come alive” when we experience ourselves being poured out? Firefighters, EMTs, Soldiers, Priests, etc… people who daily give themselves to extreme conditions of service and sacrifice for perfect strangers…they say that the rush of doing something life-threatening, crazy, risky, self-giving, even for someone they do not know, gives them such vitality, such life. Of course it does! That is real life. That is sharing in the life of God. Immortal life. And we can share in this just as simply by smiling at the man on the street, even if he’s dirty and has a cup for coins in his hand. We can share in this life by offering to by that man a sandwich. We can share in this life by praying for that man every day. We can share in this life by realizing that we have an obligation to give of our wealth and be generous because we were given the gifts to have a job and many were not!
Divine love is defined by its gift. How often I hold back! How often I do not want to be drained. OH! If we could understand the power of being drained. What was the fruit of Christ being drained? Eyesight when there was only darkness, firm limbs when there were no muscles, the ceasing of a flow of blood when there had been only that for years… life itself, when that life had gone out. Somehow the father of lies convinces us that because our “draining” isn’t bringing people back from the dead, it isn’t worth the effort. How wrong he is! We may very well indeed be giving life back to that man by being the one to share a meal with him! We are giving ourselves life by learning what it is to give of ourselves!
And it is a habit. One which we must understand is hard to form and takes continual practice and repentance. But it is something which we must attempt. Even the asking of the Father for the grace to form the habit is part of making the habit. We can do it. St. Paul, St. John the Beloved, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Maria Goretti, every saint that has ever lived – they have discovered the habit of passionately being overwhelmed by the sea of God’s love and mercy, of diving off the precipice into the ocean and being swallowed up, so that there is never a time that they hold back or fail to give, because what they have is not their own nor does it hold any value other than what God attributes to it, which is that case is as a gift for the other.
That’s crazy, radical, seemingly impossible. And that is what is serious.
That is what I desire to be serious about. I pray that one day I will be "too" serious. I pray you will be as well.