As I sit in front of my computer looking at the blinking cursor and at the pictures of loved ones on the walls of my office, I ponder, “What’s next?” In the midst of our experiences right now in society and in the Church, what words can I share to make others reflect on the nature of jubilee? How can I find the grace?
As I look away from my somewhat ordered desk, I glimpse at a pair of hand-made gloves without fingers. You see, as I have grown older, my body has begun to react adversely to not only cold weather, but also air conditioning. Sometimes, I find myself wrapped up in a sweater as well as a lap blanket while the outside temperature is in the 90’s! I often pray a Rosary outside during lunchtime just to warm up!
One of my co-workers knitted them for me because I mentioned to him that my hands were bothering me. When he left them on my desk, there was a tag attached that read, “When in doubt, put these together and look up!” The gloves have become my personal reminder of the importance of constant prayer as well as the genuine blessing of my co-workers!
The men and women who minister here in the diocesan offices are often an inspiration to me. As Pope Francis states in his Apostolic Exhortation, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. … Holiness grows through small gestures.”1
This has prompted me to reflect on his message – A LOT. Let me explain.
In this document, we are reminded that because of our baptism, we have been given a mission to accomplish. In a sense, our new white baptismal garment can be looked upon as our superhero cape! Our mission is to become holy. We have all been given specific and unique personalities, gifts and talents to be used for the Church for a certain moment in history. Recently, another co-worker gave anonymous tokens of appreciation to several of us. Mine reminded me, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created!”
As I type that sentence, I think, “Gee! Pope Francis said it this way, ‘Holiness consists in uniting ourselves with the dying and rising of Christ.’” TODAY. Christ dies in me when I give of myself in loving service, in acts of charity to my brothers and sisters. I do not mean HUGE acts but rather the small ones: holding a door, allowing someone to go ahead of you in traffic, giving others the benefit of the doubt, holding them in love as they grate your last nerve, waiting in line peacefully, taking someone out to lunch, and excusing others because “They just do not know.” These are tiny resurrections, echoes of THE Resurrection because they exhibit that someone cares about YOU!
In a sense, we live out holiness as we express our fidelity to the Master – as we live out in our lives Christ’s faithfulness to the Father. “Our Lord made it very clear that holiness cannot be understood or lived apart from these demands, for mercy is ‘the beating heart of the Gospel.’”
By the reception of our super hero cape, we were incorporated into the mystical body of Christ. Our heart beats one with Him, our Head. Holiness lies in acknowledging those moments when our hearts go “rogue” and asking for forgiveness. Holiness lies not in being perfect, but in being faithful.
Jesus is alive and present in our Church! He has won the war over darkness and sin. Come, try on my new gloves!
By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness