“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?”
~ Luke 14:27-28
Mother Teresa is officially proclaimed a saint today. Like in the beginning, good persons like her were already venerated as saints when the official Church would formally proclaim their sainthood. Mother Teresa once said: “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
Life is a great gift. No one has ever asked to be born. But just to be here and alive defies all reason and possible explanation. I see the beauty around me and I marvel that I am part of that beauty. I experience all the goodness of the people around me and I am amazed to be part of all that goodness. There is truth in the reality of my life and I know deep in my heart that I am but a shred of that infinite Truth that made me possible.
I cannot ask of anything more but be grateful of this life I have been blessed with. Like Mother Teresa, I just put myself in the hands of God, deep in gratitude before His Presence that I can share in the beauty, the goodness and the truth that can only come from Him. I dare not ask for anything more.
Prayer is the awareness of this great blessing of life. Without this awareness, I merely exist. One of the many creatures of God. But when I become aware of God’s presence and action in my life, I sign on to life. I see God’s hand in the unfolding of my life: from nothingness to life, from life in the womb to a life on my own, from childhood to adulthood, from adulthood to the transitioning to eternal life. I am not only a being. I am more a becoming.
This becoming comes in stages. I see more and more of beauty and goodness and truth. But as I journey through life, I also must go through some pain and difficulties to get out of the depths and the valleys. I must endure sufferings and hurdle obstacle to reach the peaks and the mountains. When I signed on for life, I signed on not only for the beauty and the goodness and the truth, I declared myself also ready for the ugliness and the evil and the lies along the way.
Prayer is my time to realize that beauty is stronger than ugliness, goodness is stronger that evil and that truth will overcome lies and deception. When I say I am a disciple to Christ, I am also saying that I am willing and able to carry my own cross. I know the cost of discipleship and Christ has put in the downpayment for me.
“Lord, thank you for the gift of life. I am awed by the beauty, the goodness and the truth you have created for me. I am aware of the cost of following you. With you by my side, may I have the courage and the strength to carry my cross daily.”