Thursday, February 8, 2018

Until They Rest in Thee

Written by  Fr. Deyre Azcuna

As I am getting older and with each passing day, I am more keenly aware that I have a soul to save too. Do you know how a priest saves his soul? By working to save yours. And, I don’t intend to lose mine because I am afraid to tell you what you need to hear, whether you want to hear it or not. I care what people think in terms of accepting the message because the message is God’s message. I care about that. But, I do not care if someone likes me or dislikes me in the process, or whether the message is convenient or inconvenient, in season or out of season, it makes no difference. The truth is the truth. A lot of people think that it is the consensus that determines the truth. But, Jesus Christ never intended to determine eternal truth by listening to the opinion of the mob.

As we journey in this world, we encounter countless distractions. Many of us experience restlessness, stress, anxieties, and the feeling of something lacking in us. What shall we do when we experience restlessness? Some people are led to vices. Others are led to addiction. Still others become stressed or depressed as they become overwhelmed by such thoughts.

In the sacred scriptures, God teaches us how to deal with restlessness and suffering. There is a holy and missionary character to restlessness and suffering.

In Job 7: 1-4, 6-7, Job suffers because of the loss of property, the loss of cattle and the signs of wealth, the signs of achievements, the loss of his children. And now he himself is afflicted with sickness. In his sorry state, Job looks back and says, ‘What is life?’ He goes on to describe human life in terms of boredom. ‘Yes, you work, but you work for what? You wait for wages and then you go to bed, and for what?’ Job becomes a spokesperson, the voice of many of us who are restless towards something unknown. And because you do not know what this restlessness is, it is unclear it is a restlessness that is often meaningless. What am I worried about? What is this movement in my heart looking for? Where is it leading me? To vices, to escape mechanisms, to addictions, to self-pity? Or, to God?

As St. Augustine would say, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” We cannot stop, nor can we tell someone who is rooted in prayer, rooted in mission to stop and rest. The restlessness would always be there, and only in the fulfillment of God’s mission for us do we find rest. We find rest in the restlessness of obeying God and working for the salvation of all. God bless.

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