(Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus)
We are I suppose powerful beings in our own right, but in the end it is an illusion. For the littlest thing can bring us either close to death, or to death itself. Many die young, perhaps 50% of the population die before they are 75, after that, well time takes care of the rest.
The truth can set us free. What is that truth? We are like the flowers of the field, we open up to life, grow, flower, wither and die. Well those who actually live long enough for that to happen. Is it depressing to think on such things? I don’t think so, for in fact the sooner we come to the reality of that truth, perhaps the freer we can become.
Our lives are a gift. We did not call ourselves into existence. Nor did we bestow on ourselves our giftedness, though we may have to work hard to develop them. We did not choose our families, a sad fact for many. Our health, our looks, can be taken at any time, as well as those we love. Our loved ones are the greatest gift of all. It is one way that we bestow grace on one another, in our love and friendship.
We give back by how we respond. Children know that they are dependent on their parents for their livelihood. We are taught to become independent, which is good, but the existential reality is that we really aren’t. Everything we have, know, work for is there because we live with others, in a certain culture and time. We do have a choice in what we do with what we have been given, or graced with, yet it is all given. If we become strong it is because we have to fight for what we have. If we are successful, well, it is others who allow that to happen; by their challenges as well as support. Our failures as well come about because of how we react. Although we may have to retort by rejecting what our culture and yes at times our religions and philosophical traditions, tell us what is successful or not.
Go deep enough, existence itself, did not bring on its own being, no it comes from that which is self-existent, all else flows from that, so all is a gift. So what is of deepest importance is how we respond. To answer in a life giving way is the way of spiritual childhood, for it is based on reality at its most profound level.