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Monday, January 7, 2013

Jesus as a Tangible Presence



If I may, I would like to say a word of encouragement to those who are having difficulties keeping their faith alive.                                                                                                                                             
The line between the perception of Jesus as present here and now or as an abstract entity is often blurred. There are going to be moments when you are distracted by your everyday life, and in those moments, if you are inclined to doubt, you’ll think that you are pursuing something that is not real, not even in your heart. If you wish to overcome your fear of self-deception, don’t try to force your mind to some kind of transcendent experience, because you might still doubt its authenticity. Instead, look at how Jesus has affected your life. If you have learned to be compassionate, if you are resilient in the face of adversities, if you are more joyful, then you can recognize his presence from a rational point of view. You want to keep your dignity as a rational being, and you can do that by paying attention to your responses to the world. If they are changing, he’s with you. Open your mind, don’t be afraid of being deceived by your own feelings.

Jesus said: “I’ll be with you, always,” and if you give yourself time, you’ll perceive  him not as someone who lived long ago and is separate from you by the barrier of time, but as someone who is sharing your life. St. Augustine said that he is more interior to you than you are to yourself.                                                                                 
If you have an intuition of a reality beyond the material one, don’t dismiss it. Don’t be afraid of having to give up too much if you follow this path and it leads to Jesus, because you’ll gain instead. He said that his yoke is light. If you open your heart to him, you’ll see that God is not so hidden after all, nor He intends to be. You can listen to Him through Jesus’ words. 

Love has an enormous healing power, and the first ones to be healed will be you. I wish my son could be healed too. He’s afraid of death, terrified at the idea of dissolving into nothingness. Some time ago he told me:
"I hope that you’re right about the afterlife, I hope we are going to go on living. But if we meet up there, I’ll keep telling you that your way of reasoning was wrong, because you believed in God without evidence.”
“If we meet up there,” I answered, “I’ll just say: ‘See? I told you!”
We had this conversation during one of our long walks from home to the university campus. We always follow the same route and have the same conversation: He denies, I affirm. But lately I have the feeling that Jesus is with us, walking next to me and smiling. I’m between the two of them, loving them both, waiting for the right moment to take one step back and let the two of them walk side by side.

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