As a priest and a person who is deeply concerned in the spiritual development of his people, I come across a great number of people who seem not have the view that there is in us an inherent need for God, and that there is no real need to want any sort of transformation.
I am not talking about people outside of the faith or people who are unchurched. I am referring instead to those who are baptized, people who do come to weekly Mass on Sundays, and perhaps even people who are in active ministry. Herein lies a sad reality – that there are many who are just not interested in growth, in maturity, in seeing God’s surprising ways that he can show up at life’s doorstep, and what he is leading us to. There exists in a great many people the idea that God, religion and anything spiritual are simply items to be ticked from a list of other items on life’s agenda.
While I am not saying that we should simply become fanatics and abandon jobs, friends, or family to ‘follow Christ’, I have realized that many are not even considering that it is in the arena of life where God enters in and moves us. Perhaps that explains why so many simply get back to being irascible, argumentative, obstreperous, road bullies, abusive, and display a whole assortment of mean spirited behaviours right after the priest dismisses them at the close of Holy Mass on Sundays. One wonders if there was really any communion at any level when Holy Communion was received. For many, all that negativity seems to be far more real than the God whom they were supposed to encounter and worship.
Perhaps it is for the better that I don’t have a business-mind as I go about my quest for aiding spiritual transformation and trying to be the catalyst for this to happen in peoples’ lives. Just by sheer numbers alone, I am sure that I have not really succeeded in this proposition. Jaded fellow priests who have experienced many a disappointment in their priestly lives may even wonder why it took me so long to come to this realization. I must admit that sometimes, I do find myself wondering why too.
But this is where I have to look deeply and lovingly at Our Lord and allow myself to be with him on Calvary – alone and abandoned, save for a few faithful friends. Even then, was he even sure that they really got the message of living transformed lives, of embracing the beatitudes and of the true meaning of the Cross? And this is also when I need to recall what Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta so often said – what God wants is faithfulness, not success.
Dear blog readers - I have a simple request. I do notice that some of you tend to leave anonymous comments, and I do hesitate to post these, for various reasons. One of them is that I think it helps us in our spiritual growth to really stand up for what we say and be accountable. It's really a sign of maturity. So, can I ask that you identify yourselves, or at least say which country you are posting from. At least this way, I get to know if my blog is read by people outside of Singapore. Thank you so much and God bless.