Sunday, November 14, 2010

Uganda Novena Day 5

Tonight I want to be honest. It’s these moments that I know make people uncomfortable. Perhaps many of you who read this don’t know me in “real life”, but most who do, would probably describe me as a happy person. And I am. But those who know me really well know of my darker side. I rarely talk about it. I know people would rather see “the happy” and they rarely know how to handle the lesser known sides of my personality. Perhaps that is why I go here to “fight” my battles. I chronicle my dealings with my shadows because they have followed me all my life, and I suspect they will continue to for the rest of it as well.

Tonight I glimpsed a conversation where it was thought that those who lie to themselves are the happiest, where those who are honest about things tend to become more depressed. A beautifully written post about this can be found here. I knew the young man that that post is directed towards. And even now, it still remains tragically beautiful in my mind. I'm not sure anything can be beautiful unless it’s tragic as well. Perhaps that’s why I think THE most beautiful thing is Jesus hanging, dead, on the cross. Every time I walk into a church I want to cry because the crucifix is so beautiful. It is also very tragic. Perhaps also, I love Our Lady of Sorrows because that is the true disposition in my heart. I am sorrowful. Every day I see so much tragedy, and it breaks my heart, but I don’t want to run from it.

Perhaps also this is what makes me differ from most (although I know not all). I want to stay with the tragic, the ones who feel hopeless and abandoned and unloved and utterly destitute. Maybe misery loves company, but when I experience this, I know God is near. There are no facades in place, no smiles to trick others into thinking you are okay. I know this is something I can do nothing about, and for some reason, I don’t want to run.

Perhaps I stay to see God in action. Indeed He is the only one who can help the tragedies of this world. He is the only one who can save them. In witnessing a tragedy, either of my own or another’s, I know, more deeply than ever before, who I am. I am a powerless woman who relies on God for everything. In coming face to face with utter tragedy, I also experience God’s awesome power. I’ve seen it at Kenneth’s funeral. I knew it that day that what took place is something I wouldn’t easily forget, because I witnessed God coming to earth and showing Himself to us. God uses death more perfectly than anything eles for coming into our hearts.

Maybe the shadows aren’t so bad. Perhaps that is how God’s reveals Himself to me. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to run away. Can we pay the price? I know I can’t, but I know Jesus can and He already did. And with this knowledge I go into the world as a “happy” person, for truly I am. The truth does set us free, it just may not be what we expect.

In relating to Uganda, I’m not sure what I will witness on the mission trip. I’ve been told about “the cry” which can be heard all night in most villages. It is a cry of a mother who just lost a child, normally of some disease. I’ve been told it is the most heart piercing sound you will ever hear. I think of Mary’s cry.

Please pray this novena with me. Pray for whatever breaks your heart. This world is tragic but not hopeless. Let us never forget that it is not hopeless.

Novena Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially ...for the work, both spiritual and physical, that will take place, a safe and fruitful mission and Ugandans who are suffering in any way.

We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.
Pray for us, St. Peter Claver

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