Friday, August 5, 2011

He Knows Each One Of Us

My own trials have opened my eyes, my ears, and my heart to something I never noticed in my youth.  Maybe it is because I have finally started listening to people.  The fact is that so many people are struggling with suffering, most of them more than me.  Indeed, suffering is deeper than the immediate external struggles that engage most of us. Everyone has something missing in their life, something that has disappointed them, something that does not measure up to a once-cherished hope, something that inhibits their freedom, some burden that tires them, some hunger that is never satisfied.

People usually accommodate themselves to reduced expectations about life, especially as they get older.  How else could one get through the day?  Sometimes, however, one can still catch an echo of a cry of pain, that deep and mysterious pain at the heart of every human life.  Life is, in some measure, always something that has to be endured.

Why is this?  We suffer because of sin: original sin, our own personal sins, and the sins of the world.  We suffer in Christ, who is God’s love made personal and particular for each one of us.  Jesus is God drawn close to our wounded humanity, so close that He takes it upon Himself—not only in some “general” way, but in a way that encompasses each one of us.  Jesus is the intimate companion of each and every human person, even those who do not know Him.  He knows each one of us; He unites Himself (He—God the Eternal Son of the Father) to my humanity and to your humanity; He lives in us and suffers in us and through us.  He accompanies us through our companionship with one another and reaches out to others through our witness.

He knows “who I am” and who He wills me to be.  He knows the secret of why I was created.  He knows my sins.  He knows how to heal me of them, how to draw me to Himself, how to make me the “adopted son” that I am meant to be in Him for all eternity. And so my joys and sufferings are His infinitely wise, uniquely crafted, and tender love through which He shapes my life and leads me to my destiny.  How little I really understand about my “destiny.”  How little I understand about the “eternal life” which means belonging to Him forever.  We must remember every day that God is with us and that He draws us toward our true identity, which is to reflect His eternal glory in that unique way that corresponds to each of us as a person created in His image and likeness—a reflection that we do not yet understand but that He sees and knows.

We ought to dwell upon this and call it frequently to mind.  Those little prayers throughout the day are worth so much: “Jesus, I love you.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Come, Holy Spirit.” No matter the storms and the fury; the depths of our lives are not solitude.  At the heart of life, of every moment of life, there is companionship with the Merciful God.

There is Someone with us in our lives, every moment.  There is Someone “on the other side” of our prayers, listening, full of tender love, wanting to bestow mercy on us every moment with an attentiveness and care infinitely greater than that of any father or mother for their children.

From my book Never Give Up: My Life and God's Mercy (