Today is All Saint’s Day and it’s been a while since I’ve really written something here. No words can explain how life has exactly been since I’ve been back home from my own Missionary Year. I’ve definitely had my fair share of ups and downs, whirlwind of emotions from love, joy, happiness, and even hurt. The most hurt I’ve experienced since I lost my father 5 years ago on November 16. I guess it’s what made me decide to get back on here and write the words I can’t really say out loud. Some people may not understand, some people may be confused, some others will just have something to say whatever it may be. However, my writing leads me back to the roots of the months that lead to my Missionary Year and the life our Dear Father has allowed me to live. I keep forgetting the gaze of His eyes and that there is no other being except Him that I can run to who will love and accept me for who I am and for all the wrong I have done.
It has made me remember the lives of the Saints who had to carry their crosses and trials just as Christ bore our sins on the Cross all the way to Calvary. The Saints chose to live in the way that Christ lived, to lead a second life that was set apart from this world. They lived in the world, but not of the world – something we can really only strive to achieve. I have tried my best to lead that kind of life that would be set apart from the reality of this world and just really live in God’s love and mercy. My humanness however gets ahead of me and it takes over in a whole different perspective. The hurt and the pain of the human heart and all the experiences one has to go through suddenly blows up in your face and not knowing what to do. Then days like these suddenly come up and then you wonder how persevering the Saints were. In a world full of many temptations, confusion, hurt, and suffering, they still managed to get through the day, wake up the next day, take in another day of this world, then do it over and over again till they can finally share in the Glory of the Resurrection, the Glory of the Kingdom.
We have these Saints, the multitude of heavens to guide us through everything we experience (I mean duh, there’s a Saint for practically every intention and they are all up their cheering us on!) yet sometimes we forget to foster our relationship with them. I say this because for someone like me, one wouldn’t think that I’d still experience the things I go through each day. Some people have had to bear with my constant banter of emotions. For someone like me who is an introvert, yet can write something like for public viewing, well, its just the human in me. Every time I utter the words ‘I’m but only human,’ I hear my Mexican priest-spiritual director say congratulations because of the affirmation that I am human – we all are! The Saints were just like us! HUMAN! Then I suddenly recall in light of this fact, the frequently asked question to Catholics or even Christians in general – “why does God allow good people to suffer?” (This was something I recently reflected on and has been a constant theme whenever I give my reflections). It is because God wants us to remember that even His own Son, Jesus Christ who was innocent, FACT BEING: He is God himself, was brought down by His Father to be HUMAN. A human just like each and every one of us but this MAN who had suffer an infinite number of times more than we will ever experience in our own life times. It is through His example, having been beaten over and over for our sake, that drove the Saints to live the lives they have led that brought the holiness in their everyday. They walked with Jesus and allowed Him to lift them up when the moments got difficult. St. Ignatius himself once said, “If God sends you many suffering, it is certainly a sign that He wants to make you a great saint.” Indeed, yet some of us refute the fact that we can be saints because it seems unachievable. But as the saying goes, nothing is impossible with God.
I go back to the beginning of this post and to question why I am writing now after what seems to have been forever? For someone like me who, unfortunately can remember most events and conversations as if they had just recently happened, I have found so much suffering because of it. I have recently reflected and shared with a few friends that when I love, I love unconditionally, the kind of love that sometimes does not get returned. I never asked to be loved because God himself never asked for it. It is something He wants us to realize and feel on our own and then give it back when we are ready. I have been hurt and it hurts, and the pain is stronger because it comes at a time when we remember my own father (one of those memories I can remember vividly). I never questioned why God took him before us. I never had to question God because I knew my father gave all the love he could give and provide all the he could to give us this life. For someone who gives so much and remembers literally every moment of that love, care, and time you give, whatever form it may have been in, it hurts when others don’t realize it. Thus, as I dial this back down to the lives of the Saints and their own sufferings but at the same time, the joys they have experienced with the hope that they will one day join the Father in His Kingdom, I remember that the love was never worthless and that the memories though may hurt, are all a part of it. As Blessed Mother Teresa herself said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” The hurt can actually lead us to only more love.
I guess I am merely counting down the days till the door will simply close, that the love I have given will have just been a distant memory, then maybe I can breathe. As long as the fact of God’s love is there, and that He will never leave me, I will be okay. “The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.” So when I forget and lose my way, I know that Christ will carry me. Just as the multitude of Saints constantly pray for us, we must never forget even if there are moments that hurt, they are lifting up all our pains to God.