Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How Should One Live?

How should one live? is a question reflected upon recently by the desk columnist of the Catholic Times. There are people, he says, who live as though life were a bouncing ball, following it wherever it bounces. And there are those who fatalistically leave everything up to heaven. The Christian, however, believes that living in God's glory is the eternal goal of  life and attempts to do so daily.

The only time of life when we had no worries was infancy, soon followed by school, work, raising a family, financial concerns, and other pressures of life. Until death, this is the life experienced by most people.

Animals, outside of the time of sleep, do not shut their eyes. They are completely controlled by their five senses. With their eyes closed they are not able to judge anything. People without belief in God are not much different, says the columnist. They may shut their eyes briefly for meditation and reflection, but they put their trust solely in their senses and intellect. Decision making comes from their innate capabilities that they muster from the data available: seeing a wall they avoid it, lacking money they worry, feeling pain they grieve, and having the good things in life they are happy.
The real Christian deliberately closes his eyes, trusts in God, listens to his voice, reflects on his words, prays, finds joy in life despite its sadness, and sees hope in  pain. She not only trusts the information from the senses and intellect but trusts in our faith in God. 

There are many that do not ask why they live, concerned only with what they see before them. The columnist compares this to the paduk player who forgets the  stone in the middle of the playing board and rejoices with the making of a few houses on the fringes. When we forget the ultimate meaning of life, when we have no strategy for the future, concerned only with tactics for the here and now, we may win a small victory but we will surely lose the greater victory.

He is reminded of the words Cardinal Kim left us. "Lord, I will not think of this or that. I will not be concerned about how much I love you.  I will just look upon you and walk with you. Everything is yours and will entrust it all to you." The cardinal's words, he acknowledges, have deeply affected him, bowing his head whenever they come to mind.

This is the way of experiencing joy in life, which we try to share and practice with the alienated of our society. With God with us, we can overcome everything.

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