Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ancient Blog, Young Writer: A Postscript on Hope

Young John Janaro (aka "JJ") in the mountains, around 1990

There has been some further consideration of the recently rediscovered ancient blog of Young John Janaro (dated from the beginning of September 1990).

After 23 years, the author finds himself looking at the issues of his 1990 Statement of Purpose within a larger and deeper context. It is not the result of any pretense to greater wisdom, but rather the fruit of his own experience -- over this time -- of his sins and his repeated failures, and of the transforming mercy of Jesus that continues to shape his life with patience and persistence.

Young JJ spoke strongly (and rightly) about the collapse of the culture of autonomous "man," even with man's immense technological power and its possibilities.

He said that 

Still, this desperate judgment was not a cause of despair for Young JJ. He knew that the hope for humanity was secure because God had intervened in history, and given Himself in love through the death and resurrection of Jesus:

As stated in the previous post, The Current JJ (in 2013) concurs with the thoughts expressed by Young JJ, but there is something that has changed.

JJ has grown in hope.

He has a more profound confidence today in that "presence" he wrote about in the second excerpt above: the presence of Christ. He has a deeper attachment to Him; or at least he is more concretely aware of his complete dependence on Christ's presence in every moment.

His confidence has grown in the ineffable power of God's love, in the presence of Christ as inexhaustible mercy, and in the often hidden but always patient and persistent ways that His mercy works in the world.

This means that JJ today -- while still fully acknowledging the divisions and the death that he wrote about in the first paragraph -- is less afraid of them. He sees more clearly (in spite of many hesitations) that death is not the final word, that evil -- in spite of its show of power -- has been defeated and uprooted forever, that however things may seem, the truth of reality is that everything is grace.

JJ is more convinced that the heart of Jesus is at work even in the darkest of places; that the suffering love of Jesus pierces the hearts of the many human beings of our time who have sought to make themselves autonomous and secure in their material power, but have succeeded only in making themselves lonely. Beneath the perversion and the violence of this culture of death is the human person's desperate loneliness and the terrible longing to be loved in a way that is real and permanent.
Mug shot of JJ today: Really he is
 much happier than he looks here.

The Crucified Jesus has carried the depths of all the pain that people inflict upon one another and themselves. He accompanies them in their loneliness and need for love, and with all of their deep personal wounds. He remains, He offers His love and mercy and healing, He waits upon even the most distant freedom and mysteriously engages it from within....

There is a great mystery at the heart of the world, at the heart of every moment. JJ doesn't grasp it, and usually forgets it. JJ doesn't know anything about the depths of this truth that the world has been redeemed. But he lives in hope. He prays for the grace to share in the love and compassion of Jesus, and to bear witness to it.