Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 17, 2000
The greatest revolution of all
By By JOHN CONNELLY
Special to the WCR
Spiritual life is truly the great adventure. It is the inner journey where we learn to surrender to the living God. It is awakening to the reality of God's presence in our lives and in our world. It is the call of Jesus speaking to the depths of our being: "Follow me".
Along this path there are many obstacles. There are mountains to climb. There are "giants" we must conquer. There are deserts we pass through, storms that frighten us, and days when the sun shines warm along our path. It is a wondrous experience this inner journey, this path of the heart, this road to the Promised Land.
The trouble is that you and I forget. We forget Christ is with us. We forget he is truly present on the path . . . in his word . . . in the sacraments . . . in each other . . . in our marriages, our families, our Church and our world. Jesus is among us!
Too often we only see our problems, difficulties and struggles. Too often we only see our own weaknesses and the weaknesses of others. How often are we spiritually blind to the wonder of God's kingdom in our midst.
Yet the call persists. This calling is deep within the heart of every human being. It is the call of our Creator to arise, to awaken and live a new way of life. God is calling . . . calling each of us by our name.
What if you and I were to say "Yes." A big "Yes." A total "Yes." What if you and I actually entered fully into the call of the Gospel? What if we surrendered completely our pride, prejudices and fears? What if we truly began to love as Jesus loves?
Can we imagine it? Do we dare? What if every Christian became all they are called to be in Christ?
It would be the greatest revolution of all time! Not merely a political revolution. Not a philosophical revolution. A revolution of divine love. A revolution which would bring hope to the hopeless, sight to the blind, friendship to the friendless, peace to the troubled, unity to the divided and healing to our troubled, broken world.
"O how the face of the earth would change if we let ourselves be taken over by divine love!" (Pope John Paul).
The face of the earth would change if we as people would respond to the call of love. The call of love that is revolutionary, joyful, self-sacrificing and wondrous beyond description. Only by gazing upon Jesus crucified can we paint an adequate picture of this love.
Imagine him now. See his open heart . . . the love in his eyes . . . his total surrender to the Father. Hear him call.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends" (John 15:12).
(St. John Vianney said meditating on the crucifix is the most learned "book" a man could ever read.)
A Chinese Christian who was persecuted when the communists took over his country prayed, "Dear Lord, give us something to die for, for if we have nothing to die for, we shall have nothing to live for."
The Good News of Jesus is worth living and dying for. His message of love is the true hope in our troubled times. His call is to each one of us. We have the opportunity here and now, today and everyday, to say, "Yes. Yes Lord, I surrender. Yes Lord, I will learn to love as you love. Yes Lord, I surrender my life and let go so you can live your life in me."
I remember the day an elderly man died beneath my hands. He had suffered a massive heart attack during a joyful celebration. Another man and myself tried to keep him alive using CPR. I was looking in his eyes as he surrendered his life and died. It was an awe-inspiring moment as he passed into eternal life surrounded by his wife and friends.
Death is a reality we will all face. This life is the opportunity to learn the way of love. Now is the time to respond. Now is the time to say "I love you" to our families and friends.
Now is the time to surrender our unforgiveness, fears and anxieties. Now is the time to serve, to share, to give our lives away in and through love. Now is the time to recommit our lives as disciples of Jesus.
Everyday we can practise these words of Mother Teresa, "Put yourself completely under the influence of Jesus, so he may think his thoughts in your mind and do his work with your hands."
The path lies before us each day. The call to love never ends.
"I shall pass this way but once. Any good I can do, any kindness I can show, let me do it now. For I shall not pass this way again" (Stephen Grellet).
"Our hope is that the winter of humanity will gradually be transformed to the bursting forth of love, for it is to this we are called" (Jean Vanier).
Jesus . . . teach us to enter fully the new springtime and be revolutionaries of your love.