“Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity”- Thomas Merton
My iPhone plays “Be Not Afraid” at 5:30am. I roll over to turn my alarm off and my news feed alerts me that Donald Trump is our 45th President. Just to be able to wake up on Wednesday morning after the election was a gift from God. I could see the sun coming up from my easterly gaze. The sun, it will rise each morning and it will set each night. Guess what, everything will be ok.
The day after election day 2016, what a noisy day, sprinkled with hate, fear and sadness. As I tend to do now, I deliberately took the passive listener role. No way was I going to be dragged into this dialog of fire. I thought of Jesus a great deal during the day. His teachings, but specifically His challenges during the Roman occupation of Palestine. During that period, 4 groups made up the Jewish religion: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and the Zealots. All these groups presented different viewpoints to the Jewish people. In the middle of these contrasting viewpoints was Jesus. In prayer, these thoughts had me sitting with Jesus while he gave us the Eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. The message Jesus told was one of humility, charity and love. It is about a transformation, a change to the inner self. The Beatitudes are positive. Although they have an eschatological meaning ( salvation), Jesus’s words do provide us with peace in the midst of our current day trials and tribulations on this earth.
God was the only perfect human to ever walk this earth. He hand-picked twelve to his inner circle, twelve, that on the outside were questionable characters, but when Jesus said “follow me” their lives changed.
As the year of mercy comes to a close, I can begin to forgive both Presidential candidates for the many hurtful words and questionable positions they shared. At the end of the day what can we do collectively to mend?
When you get out of bed in morning, thank God for giving you this new day. Secondly, head over to the mirror and look at what you see. You will see the face of a sinner, we are all sinners. In our thoughts and in our words. From here we can start our day by looking inward and seeing our own faults, not the faults of others. We can take our first steps of the new day out the door with a smile. Ask God for many graces and put God as number one. Why let false gods or idols become disordered attachments keeping us from building a relationship with God. Lastly, try to place yourself with Jesus while he is sharing the Beatitudes. Latch on to the word LOVE. Finish your day as St.Ignatius taught us, in praying the daily examen, identifying all things you are grateful for, how was God with you today and finally how did I disappoint God. If our hearts are seeing with the eyes of God, we can work through differences with constructive passionate dialog. God is present with us. Turn to Him, not social media. Dont forget, the sun will rise and the sun will set each day, live in peace, love your neighbor and forgive.