Are you praying more in these quiet days? Are you thinking, reading, more? Are you glad of the slowing down of life so that you have more time, or worried by the slowing down because you don’t know what to do with the extra time?
In the film ‘Educating Rita’ a lady in a rowdy pub crowd says to her daughter “There must be something better than this.” “C’mon, have another drink, cheer up,” says a tipsy friend. What do you say?
One of the best books I have read is ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Victor Frankl. It is his story of being arrested at the beginning of World War II because he was an Austrian Jew, being separated from his wife, for six years not knowing if she were alive but knowing that her love for him and his for her were the central meaning of his life. He wanted to live, hoping to see her again, wanting to share the deeper understanding of life that he had discovered with everyone.
He survived. She had died, but her love was still within him. He wrote, researched, conveying to others that longing to find meaning or purpose in every facet of life.
So can we. We can discover the inner self, the one whom God knows (say believers), the real you, say the deepest part of yourself and those who love you.
Life in the depths of yourself, and you unafraid to go there. Go there. Think, write (no one will read unless you choose to show it to them so you can be completely honest, totally honest, don’t be afraid to be).
When the pandemic is over you might not be someone wanting to go back to former ways – you might have come to a deeper understanding of who you are, why you are glad to be alive. Don’t be afraid. Write your inner self on paper.
Pope Francis has written a letter on World Day of Prayer for Vocations next Sunday. It is refreshing to see how he includes all our vocations. Long ago I tired of the emphasis on priestly and religious life vocations when all of us are equally loved and called by God. I resented some of the publicity that emphasised how generous in spirit were priests and religious brothers and sisters in comparison to ordinary people. Nonsense. I have seen greater goodness and holiness in family and single life. Pope Francis recognises this everyday goodness of life. He is so good a pope he might have made a good husband and father.
God bless him and us,
(26th April 2020)