Our lives generally run in all too superficial paths. Few are the times when we dare to enter deeply into ourselves. We feel a form of vertigo when we lean into our inner self. Who is that strange being that I discover within me, full of fears and questions, hungry for happiness and full of problems, always seeking and always unsatisfied?
What attitude do we adopt when we contemplate within us that strange mixture of nobility and misery, of greatness and pettiness, of limits and infinity? We understand the confusion of St. Augustine when he was confronted by the death of his best friend and he stopped to reflect about his life: «I have become a great enigma to myself».
A first possible attitude is resignation, and it consists in being satisfied with what we are. We seek refuge in our small life of each day and accept our limits. Naturally, in order to do this we need to silence any rumor of transcendence, close our eyes to every sign that invites us to look beyond to the infinite, stay deaf to every call that comes from the Mystery.
There is another possible attitude in the face of the crisis point of life: absolute trust. Accept the saving presence of the Mystery in our life. Open ourselves to it from the depths of our heart. Welcome God as the root and destiny of our being. Believe in the salvation that God offers us.
It’s only from that full trust in God our Savior that those upsetting words of Jesus are understood: «Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life». What’s decisive is the opening of ourselves confidently to the Mystery of a God who is unfathomable Love and Tenderness. Recognizing and accepting that we are beings «in orbit around God our Father», as Paul Tillich said, «accepting being accepted by God».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf