Thursday, September 25, 2008
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.
Brothers and sisters, after so long I have posted once again here in this blog. And there are many reasons why I think I didn't make time writing to this beloved repository of our spiritual experiences, one of them is this: I was too desperate to find a quick solution to an already deepening sense of sorrow over some of my circumstances. I became addicted to a very selfish way of forgetting one's problems and experiencing pleasure in the things I see and imagine.
Nonetheless, despite the feeling of being able to substitute the urge for spiritual and emotional release for something of a more impure one, still it was those times that I wanted to cry, to talk to persons who would best understand the yearnings of my heart, something that only those with whom I share this vocation thing in common would quite understand well.
My yearning to be a priest suddenly obscured itself from my view. I knew it was still there within my heart during those trying, testing moments, but it was too within me to be extracted out so that I may extract from it likewise the strength to carry on. The pain needing to be quenched was quite too much for me to bear. I don't know how to express these things to others, because I have grown into adulthood with a notion of not exposing one's emotions too much. I did not like to be someone else's emotional burden. I deemed myself too unworthy of that.
That is why, too often I would just choose to keep quiet, and let everything run its due course. I refuse answering people asking me how things are going. I have such an expressive face--people instantly sense that something may be going on in me, but I try to dismiss their assumption as nonsense--after all, they shouldn't know me better than I do. Or do they?
I really appreciate the effort of people around me to make things feel better for me. But I don't know how I can ever repay them or at least show them the appreciation due them. I may smile to the point of leading others to tell me how exaggerated my smile is. But just this afternoon, while my classmates in hospital duty took our block picture, I smiled, but saw myself very differently from how I would see myself when I am ordinarily happy, excited, enthusiastic with what God has to offer for the next day ahead.
I really don't know how to look at myself recently. I am happy somewhat after rereading my entries here. But I thought about how even the greatest of saints struggled in their own spiritual droughts. I am praying for the grace to still hang on no matter what the circumstances may lead me to do. I think I have been given a snapshot of how it is to let go and not get hold of God's steering Hand. It was unimaginable, horrible, and very lonely. It may have given my inner passions a chance at being tried, being tested for what I thought was my own good. After all, many people may have tried more things than the things I myself have ever tried.
But is it the number of experiences that make us better people? Experience may be the best teacher, but what do those experiences teach us?
I still want to cry. For almost a month, two months even. I haven't shed a single tear in such a long time I wanted to cry out to God for help and despair. I yearn the embrace of people who truly care for what God does for people who strive to follow Him in the fullness of the priesthood He has bestowed upon His people.
I now attempt at listening to the music which has stirred my heart in the past and drove my eyes to shed tears of reflection, happiness and the ecstasy of hearing the voice that I perceive from God speaking within me. Nothing like that still happens, except that at least wonderful fact that I'm back at listening these prayers set to music.
Not the worldly noises, the depraved stories or the profane scenes of those days when I tried to quench that spiritual thirst with something else.
"John has risen from the dead." In fact, it was Jesus who made Himself known to the world around Him. People were actually thinking He was John the Baptist resurrected from the dead.
Honestly, it is quite hard for me to connect my personal sharing today with today's Gospel reading, something I usually do in my blog posts. I may have been given the first step to get out of that rut, but slowly I walk the water to Christ. Having enough faith to get me through and actually reaching Christ is another matter.
But I am really happy nonetheless that Jesus will be there to pick me up, as He did to His apostle Peter.
Burn within us, holy fire, so that chaste in body and pure in heart, we may deserve to see God.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.