During our childhood days, some of us may have been taught by our first teachers about the virtue of Faith. We’ve learned then that there are three basic tenets why human beings are created, i.e., to know, to love and to serve God. As years passed, the more we’ve learned more things and gained experiences, the more the said tenets are taken for granted and kept back to experiment and cherish on “material” things (e.g. love of money, career, achievements, prestige, honor, self acclaim, etc.) which act as decoys of the evil spirits to drive us away from focusing on making our lives more meaningful in the eyes of God.
However, when things go awry in our journey to life, normally we tend to reflect and ponder on the things we did and eventually on our relationship with God. That is somehow the time we only think about our duties and responsibilities as God’s children and start renewing our lives. We often rationalize whatever we do, good or bad. But I don’t discount the fact that most of the time, humans as we are, we do have weaknesses, we are susceptible to mistakes. The only good thing is that we are able to rise up and change for the better. This is precisely what God wants from us, to turn back to HIM and be His faithful friend. As a matter of fact, even the holy men and women who are now in heaven have committed wrong doings during their earthly lives. God serves as our safety net, literally, whenever we fall. But of course, not all of us are like Mary Magdalene, there are some who have lived their lives to the best of their abilities and have been faithful to God without giving much their neighbors a headache, so to speak. And there are still lots of men and women who are exceptional and have dedicated their lives to God in this modern world, one of whom was Mother Teresa.
Life’s uncertainties, trials and tribulations make us learn to realize that there is God who makes us strong and who walks through with us. As the saying goes, God Knows Best. He is always there to provide us the right solutions to our problems, to comfort us, to give us everything we need, perhaps not immediate and outright but there will always be an answer and undoubtedly the best ones for us.
One of the hardest trials that befall us is the loss of a loved one, could be a close member of the family, a relative or a friend. When my parents died, it was the saddest days of my life. It was hard to cope without them and the reality that they will no longer be around to talk to, to share stories and laugh with, to always be there to provide support, no matter what. But because of my faith and trust in God, I simply thought that they are in a much better and happier place than on earth. It is hard to explain but this would require the gift of faith to deal with and accept this sad reality of life, regardless of one’s religion and belief.
Two days ago, a new friend in his early 30’s succumbed to death after a lingering illness. He was a very supportive member when he used to be with one of the groups in the local community. Actually, I relied on him as far as their voice group is concerned as he was the youngest among them. He was a bit strict, a good trait for a member though, he saw to it that he comes early for meetings cum rehearsals. For the brief duration of his stay with the group, he showed his sincere and true dedication to the service. In fact, he was so generous to share his time, talent and treasure, even if he was busy with his family and work. I understand, he was just starting his family life and building his career when the illness hit him. As mentioned in my previous blog, he fulfilled some of the wish lists for the group’s use and we’re truly grateful for that. He also volunteered to assist in the logistics preparation, e.g. printing, reproduction of needed materials. If I remember right, the last time we saw each other, he hugged me to say that he’ll definitely be back and join the group, once he’s okay. Although his relationship with the group was short-lived, his good deeds and kindness remain. I believe God will open the doors of heaven for him and I pray that he will be accepted as one of the choir members in heaven joyfully singing and praising our Creator together with St. Cecilia and the angelic voices of the Seraphims and the Cherubims.
While it is hard to curb the loneliness and acknowledge the pain of the loss, particularly for the living members of the family, there are always ways and means to heal the painful journey of grief. It may take a while, may be a long and forever process, but the happy memories of the person who’s gone may likewise give comfort to the grieving family. Turning to God during these times will provide relief, serenity, and spiritual support.
For those who are presently experiencing difficulties and sorrows in life, in any form, there are beautiful spiritual songs which encourage everyone to lift up their hands to God and that everything will be alright!