Monday, February 28, 2011

Because I Need to Face Reality

My friend Martina said something funny and true tonight during our School of Community: once you own a certain model of car, you start seeing it everywhere. Likewise, she said, once you begin to see Christ, you begin to see Him everywhere. Because He is.

My involvement with the ecclesiastical movement known as Communion and Liberation has helped me to discern the presence of Christ in my daily life. I have come to understand that my faith is not a tool to shield me from reality or protect me from the world; rather it is a way to help me understand that Christ is present in every moment and that He is embedded in the details of the realities I face.

And yet, I so often fail to face what is in front of me without fear.

On Sunday I attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. (pictured above) The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and after, a group of us from Communion and Liberation had the opportunity to greet him. Before the Cardinal met with us, he met with a mother and father and their obviously ill baby. The parents' faces radiated joy and so did the Cardinal's as he spoke gently to the parents and blessed their child.

The sight of the ill child pained me so much I literally turned by back.  I simply could not see past her suffering, the loss the parents would face if this child died. How would they go on? I asked myself. Seeing the child and her parents through my own eyes made it impossible for me to truly see them.

"None of us, by our own efforts, can keep ourselves in the right position, even though the encounter with Christ opened us up to it. The only response to our fragility is the real permanence of His presence," Father Carron writes.

Christ, grant me the faith to face all those I encounter and to strive to gaze on them as you do.