A couple of religious articles I read this week jolted me back to the true essence of my Christian and religious life; that it is not a life of self-absorption whereby one is consumed by saying the right things and being seen as good, but should be a life of self-giving which is sacrificing your comfort for others. Hence, reminding me that self-absorption replaces genuine love [Pastor’s desk, last paragraph p. 3, Sunday 28th 2014, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church bulletin]; whereas, genuine love should be the life of a Christian because “Love is the fulfillment of the Law” – Rom. 13:10.
The second is an article by Doris Dimaku in the inspirational segment of St. Jude’s Choir 50th Anniversary magazine titled ‘Life with no regrets’. The writer enlightened me with the knowledge that life is not to be lived as a general agenda: dying to finish school – then dying to start work – dying to marry – have children – dying for children to grow – dying to retire – and finally dying. And then in retrospect one wonders if one had actually lived life because according to the writer: our life is not based on our career or business achievements but the number of lives that have been affected by our service to humanity. Hence, she reminded me of Pope John Paul II saying that “You can’t find yourself unless you make a gift of yourself”’
I used to wonder a lot about humanitarian workers who leave the comfort of their homes to war zones and poverty-stricken places to love and to cater for the needy at the risk of their lives. Now I wonder less because I feel that happiness is not in what you acquire for yourself but the much you give of yourself. It is why Jesus told the rich man who sought for happiness [eternal life] to give away everything he had; but he did not understand. In spite of obeying all the commandments he couldn’t reach the happiness he sought because without love our faith and works are just what you call them – faith and works. Love is the greatest of all, and so gives a meaning to all works of faith. And what is life without a meaning? Love is that meaning we seek in life.
We spend time preserving our lives by being selfish and greedy, and so growing in self-loathe even though we deny so. We become filled with bitterness and depression and hate life; all because we have deprived others of life, livelihood, property and ourselves, especially when we are put in position of leadership and service. Though we know that our riches cannot help us, we remain reluctant to let go because it gives us prestige in the eyes of the shallow-minded who hail superficiality.
Let us simply try and live a life of service to humanity and experience the joy of it. Give our lives so that others may live. It is the example of Christ. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it [Cece Winans] because it is the victory the faithful enjoy today.
Lord, give me the grace to live my life as a gift to this world for the salvation of life and soul. Through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
By Ifeanyi O.C
[This was written 10-10-2014]