Monday, April 30, 2012

On the Virtue of Gratitude...and Simplicity

 The World is Mine

Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman
And wished I were as beautiful.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, she passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you,
you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
but he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join them dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
I forgot, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go..
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

I received this poem by mail this morning and strangely enough it brought to my mind the need for simplicity in our faith and virtues. 

By faith, I mean one's personal relationship in God; not The Faith which is Catholic and the Truth. A simplicity which doesn't require proof or dissertation but a humble acceptance that the Father would not lie. 

I often wondered if Mother Mary really knew what she was getting into when she said her "Fiat". She was only a young girl then and illiterate at that too. Her faith would have been the simple faith of her forefathers; that God would always know best. A child-like trust and a simpleton's hope that pain and suffering would not be naught; troubled times would give way to a new day would arrive. 

To give you an exquisite example, watch the below video of Garvin Bryne, who had a rare condition of the bone marrow and died at the tender age of 11. He speaks of his faith and oncoming death. 

I tell you, he is a Saint!

I think God knew that the intellectuals among us would be terribly seduced by the wealth of knowledge in the Church and sentimental would wallow in the 'experience' of God's presence. Not that any of this is bad, but how many of us can claim to possess the Garvin's faith in his Saviour (Matt 18:4). Such grace and candour in the face of such a terrible fate!

Let's try this litmus test, shall we? Imagine you get to know that you have been slowly dying of a rare disease and you didn't even know about it. Now, time is short and you have passed the window where medical science could help. Would you at that point of time find yourself grateful for all the time God has blessed you with? Would you, as Garvin put it, look forward to the great adventure of seeing Jesus? Would you JUST KNOW that things, though terribly wrong and awry, will just work themselves out for the good of you, your family and all those you love and loved you because God is in control?