Never Giving Up
" ... My New Year's resolution is to stop talking about Jesus as though he's not in the room
— as though he were not already risen and in some way present to us
— in many ways present to us
— as though he does not also still, now, here, 2017, reach out and shine his light upon us
— but often through other people.
"We all have modes and moments of darkness. And that means different things to different people at different times. Sin can put us there. You know, who wants their bad stuff illuminated? Illness can put us there
— the fragility, the weakness of our minds and our bodies. Other people can lead us into darkness
— not only by the way they harm us and the circumstances they put us in, but the way attitudes like cynicism and selfishness and greed ("me first")
— the way those things become contagious.
"So we've all been in some darkened cave at some point in our lives
— directionless, afraid, maybe even numbed by it.
"We Paulists are not messiahs. I'm sorry if that is news. We are not perfect. We are not messiahs, okay? Don't worship us. At the end of the day, it is Christ's voice that calls from the other side of the cave, standing in the light, calling us out, giving us direction.
"But, for nearly 160 years, it has been the mission of the Paulists to provide hope of light. We do not fill in for God. We did not create the light and name it 'light,' and the dark and name it 'dark.' But, if I am personally crawling through the narrow, disorienting darkness of my life, I know I can count on a Paulist to crawl in there with me
— and that Paulist would reflect Christ's full, resplendent light back to me, even in those little puddles of mud. ...
" ... The work of the Paulists is to find myriad ways of never giving up on people. ... "
- Deacon Stuart Wilson-Smith, C.S.P., from his homily for the Annual Paulist Appeal on January 22, at St. Thomas More Newman Center, the Catholic campus ministry served by the Paulist Fathers at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
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