Tuesday, August 4, 2009

God's Film Noir

I can’t remember a time when God wasn’t real to me. It seems like I knew the Lord before I even had an awareness of my own existence. I suppose it’s like that for most preachers’ kids. While I have sensed God’s Presence from as far back as I can remember, I have not always been a seeker. To be a seeker, one must passionately pursue Truth, not complacently accept the truth one inherits through the lottery of birth.

I realize now that I did not become a seeker until my father's death.

Now, nearly six years from that loss, I seem to have a better understanding of what it means to be a seeker. To realize that everything pales in comparison to the journey we are making to the beatific vision, when we will behold the face of our Lord and God.

In those first few years after Dad’s death, I continued along the journey of faith, as one who is blind, but trying to feel my way around a room that seemed familiar - and yet, equally unfamiliar. Like someone had changed the positioning of all the furniture in the room.

Much was still a mystery to me. Too foggy to make out what was really happening. And then the fog slowly disappeared – like on the set of some film Noir. Instead of Humphrey Bogart showing up as the fog settled, I saw the great edifice of Mother Church.

Losing someone we love is probably the most difficult pain we will have to face on this earth. But it seems like suffering somehow invokes the Hand of God and reveals the Savior’s presence in our lives. In His earthly ministry, Our Lord was always drawn to those who were grieving. The mother who had lost her only son. The sisters who had lost their brother. A father who had lost his daughter. If you have lost someone you love, I encourage you to lean into the side of Our Lord. Let Him share this with you. Remain faithful - and vigilant. In moments like these, Jesus Christ often works His most unexpected miracles.

(From Parochial and Plain Sermons by John Henry Newman)
Perhaps it may be the loss of some dear friend or relative through which the call comes to us; which shows us the vanity of things below, and prompts us to make God our sole stay. We through grace do in a way we never did before; and in the course of years, when we look back on our life, we find that that sad event has brought us into a new state of faith and judgment. . . . We thought, before it took place, that we were serving God, and so we were in a measure; but we find that, whatever our present infirmities may be, and however far we be still from the highest state of illumination, then at least we were serving the world under the show and belief of serving God.


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