“Holiness begins from Christ; and Christ is its cause. For no act conducive to salvation can be performed unless it proceeds from Him as from its supernatural source.” Jesus says: “Without me, you can do nothing.” -Pope Pius XII
I was watching a short film the other day called The Butterfly Circus, it was a part of my orientation for work. We were learning about the mission of Santa Teresita Medical Center in Duarte and the intention that Mother Luisita had when founding the Healthcare center that has evolved into a, present day, neighborhood of care. The film was about a traveling circus with a circus master who took broken people and transformed them into a gift of inspiration for others.
Oddly enough, a story about a circus is what finally took me out of my writers block, in regards to reflection and writing about the experience we have when attempting to take on the challenge of discovering the beautiful gift that we are. God, as the Master of our life takes us as we are, broken people, and transforms us into a gift of love for others. One of the main purposes for understanding our unique identity in Christ is to know how we can best serve Him and give Him glory.
There is NOT a lot of time in the day to sincerely look at oneself in the mirror and ask in truth, what is it that God wants to do with me? Who does he want me to become? What is ironic though, is that we find plenty of time to look at our neighbor and assess how God is “apparently” working in his or her life. We compare the graces that flourish around us, in our neighbor, in our brothers and sisters, and even the vices that are bearing fruit and we waste time trying to figure out their purpose in the bigger picture. We toy with the gifts of others and try to fit them into the puzzle of our lives. We twist them and turn them in an attempt to insert their design into our indentation of a broken image. No matter how hard we try, we waste time trying to put together a false puzzle with forced pieces of grace that never belonged in the completion of our image. All the meanwhile Jesus is standing there waiting patiently as he looks on us with longing and a thirsting desire to take our broken and scattered life and transform it into a gift that will bear fruit. He waits for the perfect moment to divinely intervene and redirect our hearts back to Himself.
If someone is basking in joy simply because life is going marvelously for them, we want that. Or if we see someone suffering a difficulty with virtuous stride, we want that too. We seem to constantly desire someone else’s grace, asking Jesus to give us what we think will make us whole. The more we do this the more our heart is divided, reaching for everything other than what He holds out in front of us. We simply need to LET GO!
The notion of abandonment includes ‘letting go’, not clinging to a way of seeing things or acting, accepting that we cant control everything in our lives” – Father Jacques Philippe
He prepared us at Baptism to become wholly receptive to the mission that is uniquely ours. We are anointed with a mission to love and there is a piece of the puzzle that only we can contribute to the perfect image of Love. The only thing we need to do is abandon our lives to Him. Our receptivity to his transforming love is the only effort needed on our part, He does the rest. But the receptive stance is what requires the most courage. Abandonment means we let go of everything we have been acquiring for our self image. Being stripped of our control over the forming of our lives so that God can begin His true formation.
The distraction of grasping false truths can go on forever and have us running in circles without ever advancing in holiness or grace. We loose, more and more, the graces that God has reserved specially for us. God knew and reserved the specific graces that would shape our own personal growth in love. How can we come to understand who we are and who we are becoming if we continue to desire something outside of what God wants to give us? There is no such thing as borrowing someone else’s grace. God has prepared for each of us the grace sufficient to become holy and His.