From: Mary Zimmerman
Today at Mass, Father Jim focused his sermon on searching. I guess when we think about it we spend a great part of our lives searching for one thing or another. We start as babies opening up our mouth from time to time or very often, as the case may be, hoping some food awaits us, then from little on we start our search for knowledge, how to smile, walk, talk, communicate, then continue to learn (education) throughout the years. The information we need to advance physically and hopefully connected to a spiritual force from within and without that tells us our hearts are restless until they rest in God. I can’t speak for an atheist or agnostic, I can only speak as a Christian, Catholic to be exact, and the experiences of my search. I believe we spend our entire life in searching our hearts to become the person God so intended us to be. We search ourselves in our ability to love, forgive, praying from the heart, etc., however we always seem to come up short.
Today at Mass one part of the song “Amazing Grace” kept playing in my mind. “Amazing grace how sweet thou art, to save a wretch like me.”
One who thinks he is without sin deceives himself. Therefore I forge ahead trying to accept my human nature as a sinner, taking advantage of the sacrament of confession, then vow to try again - one more time - to be good. Sometimes I think at my age it’s about time I get life figured out. It seems most people didn’t believe me when I claimed to be 39 quite a few year back. A sign was even put in my yard to verify that on one of my birthdays. I changed it to 63 but again I had less than a handful of believers. The only hint I really care to give you at this time is next year will be the big one - whatever that means. And we will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary this year. Maybe I’ll even consider the possibility of us (Jim and me) being in our golden years. People often say you’re just as old as you feel. I never thought much of that, I kinda thought I felt like 80 or so most of my life (especially while raising a large family). I’d rather think you are as old as you act. Now a lot of my friends would hold that to be true. Yes, I believe laughter is good for a person and a bit of silliness doesn’t hurt anyone either.
Well, how did I get so off track to what I started to write about? I guess that’s no surprise to those of you who follow my articles. Oh year, searching - Father Jim mentioned the wise men searching and finding the newborn babe in Bethlehem, then a star guided them to the very manger where Jesus was born. I believe, and Father Jim said so too, we are to be that star, that beacon of light for others to find and know the love of God in their lives.
Perhaps this is a good place to put this quote, I think by St. Francis, “Only use words if you have to.”
Our example of good or evil most everyone will follow. Let’s ask ourselves, do we show our example to help lead souls to heaven or the other place I hesitate to name?
If we are a faithful, peaceful, loving, forgiving, hopeful, happy person, we are going to attract people to want to imitate that example. However if we are a constantly complaining, grumpy, judging, fault-finding person we will unfortunately ensnare some minds as well. We just very often need to think about what we’re thinking about, as popular author and speaker Joyce Meyer would say. She also claims the mind is the battlefield where we struggle. Richard Carlson, Ph.D., the author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” - and it’s all small stuff - gives great insight to help in our search for simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life. My comment - this is one of the better books I have read.
One can change. It is possible. I know! I did. Negativity goes along with depression and most everyone knows I had my share of both. I think to be a positive person is something you work and search for all your life; the tools you need to accomplish that, loving and caring for others, especially your family, even enemies if you have any, plus the poor, unfortunate, etc. We just need to keep our eye on these tools, keeping them in good working order our whole lifetime. Then in the end we can realize (experience) what we have searched for all our lives - the pearl of great price, we have found - heaven.
The search is over.
P.S. Update on Eli James, 2 weeks old. Eli is doing great. He eats well and is gaining weight. If Mom and Dad would complain at all (they don’t), it would be that Eli has his days and nights mixed up, but they deal with it and love him a whole bunch anyway. If big brother Conner, 2, would make any remark, it would be “Eli, don’t cry.” And grandma Z would say “I can’t wait to see him again.”