Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The World of 25 Years Ago, Part II

Before the month comes to a close I should finish posting the "Statement" that young John Janaro wrote in September of 1990 as he began a journal that would cover the next two years of his life and times. (See HERE for the first part.)

I began by speaking of how we human beings, even as we developed our power for accomplishing great good, always seemed to find ourselves using that power for greater evils. The tension at the heart of the profound ambiguity of human existence was growing greater.

Twenty five years later, that tension has pushed even further. It has grown exponentially, and in many ways that we could not have imagined in 1990.

If I were writing such a broad survey of the times today, however, I would do it differently. I would write more from the perspective of my own suffering and also my own gratitude. I would place my own weakness and my need for healing more in the center. I would write perhaps in a less sophisticated way.

In any case, this is what I wrote a quarter of a century ago. It is a recognizable theme that I still ponder: the problem of human beings living without God. But I believe now (more than I did before) that God still draws us on His mysterious paths by the often-hidden workings of His grace -- even in our ignorance and incoherence and failure and in the apparent insignificance of our lives.

Even if we try to live without God, He still dwells with us. He has made His dwelling among us and He is not going away.

God wants to empower us to build up the good in this world, but first and above all, He wants us. He made us not only for this world, but also to share His eternal life.

And He is Love.

He knows our weakness and our selfishness, and that we play with our own spectacular (and often dangerous) toys without even thinking about the reason why we exist. He sees our poverty and loneliness in the midst of all our riches, and it cannot be any other way because He has placed His signature on each or our hearts. Our hearts will always be greater than our power, and so "it's never enoughand yet we don't know where to go.

God knows we are a mess. But He hasn't given up on us, and He wants to meet us with His compassion.

I still see the problems of human existence but my perspective has grown, and what are "my words" below have become more my life and my suffering. In strength and in weakness, I am more aware that what matters is fidelity to the Mystery of God and His opening-up of my life to my brothers and sisters, in love.

For the record, then, let us listen to the Young Janaro of September 1990. Maybe he was smarter than I am today. He was learning and thinking about many things, and then -- as now -- he was so much in need of mercy.