Thursday, June 3, 2010

Swimming with Jesus

At first the sensation is incredible. Your floating around, splashing, dashing through the water without a care in the world. Your brand new tube is shining in the sunshine like a newly waxed car. Then it happens. These big hands reach over and all begins to unravel. The sun stops shining, the water seems cold and restless, even the pool starts to look more like a dungeon than a welcoming spot to cool off and beat the summer heat. Lifted up and suspended in thin air as you twitching feet try in vain to hold on to the tube you scream for these hands to put you back, but it is in vain. Soon, you are plunged into the water; your life flashes before your eyes. The sensation of floating is replaced by that of sinking. You begin to sweat and imagine your lifeless body lying at the bottom of the pool. Bottom? what bottom? It seems to go on forever; a never ending downward spiral of water and death.And there you are. Depending solely on these big hands to hold you up. At least you have those hands, you think, without them you would be dead. After calming down the water doesn't seem so rough, the sun, you see is still shining. You even can make out the faint feeling of a bottom, if you really stretch out your toes. Things seem under control. "I'm doing this" you think. " I'm doing it all by myself!" Second by second your confidence grows, you splash, you laugh, you even try to swim. You got it under control now, these big hands are a hindrance. All you want is to swim free. Now, although you don't know it, you are serious danger.

                We all can relate to the above events. Learning to swim is a rite of passage for all children. The fear, the terror, the excitement. New territories unexplored. Will there be waves? How cold is it? Can i drink it? Is "JAWS" in there? Normal fears from a normal mind. Yet we persist about talking the plunge. And so we do. With nose plugs, earplugs, swimming shoes, arm tubes, wetsuit and inner tube around the waist. We are ready. Like a knight suited up for battle we approach the 2 feet of unknown water as if we were about to embark on a journey from which we may never return. The water is ruthless, we must be prepared. Bon voyage we cry as the crowds wave in adulation. Tears are flowing in honor of our bravery. Just as we approach the entrance to our greatest adventure, mommy grabs us and says "wait for daddy!" Just like that we shrink back down to size. Wait for Daddy. I don't need daddy. I jump in puddles all the time. I even take baths without Daddy! I don't need him. Blind as we are, we know deep down we do need Daddy. And that hurts.
              We, as men, want to be heroes, we want to be the knights who serve valiantly and are hailed as brave battle tested warriors. These thoughts are even in us as young as 2 or 3. I see it in my sons. I see it in me. As dangerous as they can be sometimes, these thoughts, this drive we have as men to conquer, to explore, to impress and shock our women, is good. We were created this way. But humility must be learned also. As we grow we try new things. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. But with each "war", with each "excursion" we take something from it. Maybe a lesson in humility or purity. A humble assessment of our souls and weaknesses. A wonderful experience with another. Happiness, sadness, lust, pride, vainglory, holiness; all these are vices and virtues we as men learn and experience through the little battles we wage. Yet lessons learned and mountains climbed, still sometimes are not enough for us. If we never fall, we will never learn how to get up. Herein lies my weakness. I fail miserably at times. Ouch...That hurts. Yet through all my victories, all the grace i receive, all the good outcomes and wonderful discoveries, all i see is my failure. Provoked by pride i dismiss it as someone elses fault. I am holy, i reason, i shouldn't be doing that. As true as that is let us remember we are but children in the eyes of our Father. We will fail. We are weak. If we depend on ourselves. So from this i reason and i propose to you that the greatest lesson we can learn as men is humility. We must unlearn what we have learned from the world and submit ourselves, in love, to our Father. We must trust Jesus.

            The Image of the Divine Mercy was not complete until "The Signature", as Jesus called it was added. The Signature " Jesus, I trust in You" is of the utmost importance. Through this devotion our Lord is calling the most hardened of sinners back, he is calling the prideful, the lustful, the angry, the unbelieving, even us the "holy". When faced with the burden of sin we created our only response can be "Jesus i trust in You!" While learning the way to live we can only say Jesus i trust in you! When trying to battle sin and vice in our hearts our only response can be "Jesus i trust in you!" When receiving thew Sacraments, forced to look with the eyes of faith our only response can be "Jesus i trust in you!" As we start a family and endeavour to love as He did our only response can be "Jesus i trust in you!" Finally as we die and entrust our souls to our Lord, once again "Jesus i trust in you!" should be our last word in this battle. I guess the point i make is this. When we step out of the boat, onto the water and are surrounded by the waves of doubt, sin and despair we must realize whose big hands are supporting us. We are swimming with Jesus in this great ocean, though the waters seem rough and the bottom is not felt we have no need to fear. We are supported, protected and loved. Let us in humility allow Jesus to take us out of the tube and teach us to swim. His are the hands that support us. We have nothing to fear as long as we give our trust to him. When we swim through the waters of this life, let us swim with Jesus.

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