Notre Dame Alumna, Class of 2011
PRELUDIO: In the words of the great British television “programme”, “And now for something completely different.”:
Someone told me that they must play this organ piece on repeat in Heaven, but if it’s not your style then here’s this to brighten the glory of FRIDAY:
Anyhoo, HAPPY FRIDAY, PEOPLE!!!
So even though we’ve figured out how silent monks sing the Hallelujah chorus, so many pivotal questions about the universe remain. A few of the most deeply troubling include:
- Why do psychics have to ask your name? And why do they need TV commercials: can’t they just tell you their hotline number telepathically?
- Why is all dryer lint a whitish-bluish-gray even though the clothes in the dryer are a bunch of different colors? Where do all of the other colors go, the washer? Narnia?
- Why do people dress up to go to fancy receptions when they could just accomplish the same thing (conversation) by dressing in sweatpants and sitting around on couches at home and eating raw cookie dough instead of weird little appetizers with caviar?
- Why do some dogs bark at the doors that ONLY family members ever use (like the door from the garage or the door from the backyard? Really? Does the pizza guy EVER go through there?)
- Why do small dogs act like they’re Rottweilers and Rottweilers don’t care how huge they are (or forget about it completely when they greet you at the door and enthusiastically plow you down)?
- Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains and yet the cotton shirt you just bought shrinks so much that you could put it on a hand puppet? How is this justice, people?
- Was God just feeling really whimsical when He invented the platypus, the puffer-fish, and that one lizard that shoots blood out of its eyes as a defense mechanism? And what was He thinking when He invented leeches, ticks, and those bugs with too many legs that hang out in the upper corner of your bathroom for a week? We’ll just have to trust that He has a plan there.
And now that we’ve taken time to thoughtfully reflect on these questions, we can keep moving along 😉
THE HEART OF THE EMAIL: Or, Where Judas Fell
Youtube clip of the week:
So people, we know how Judas Iscariot’s story ends: he betrays Christ, and when he tries to give the blood money back to the temple priests, they scorn the offer. And then Judas takes his own life. But what killed Judas Iscariot? We see greed at work in his heart, but greed will also make a man fight to stay alive at any cost. So why does Judas die (or rather, why does he decide that he can’t continue living?)
In the novel Sophia House, a priest says that Judas didn’t believe in forgiveness. Specifically, Judas believed that he had done something unforgivable, and when he believed so completely in the lies spun by his despair, he decided that anything was better than life, even death. Judas had given up all hope.
OK, so this Heart has begun on a heavy note, but it doesn’t end there. Just keep going, folks.
Hope in God’s mercy is a door leading out of a prison cell. Judas felt that God had permanently given up on him, when in reality God gives us as many chances as we need. And God doesn’t dole out these chances grudgingly, as though He expected better and has been disappointed by our weakness. I can imagine that instead, God says, “At least they know I haven’t given up on them. At least they still hope enough to ask for forgiveness.” And every new beginning, every gift of mercy is a reminder to us that God never will give up on us, not even in the dark times when we feel like giving up on ourselves. If we close a door, God finds a window: if we close a window, God comes in through a hole in the basement, and so on as long as we are living. He will always offer us freedom from our darkness.
We don’t know what it was like to be in Judas’ position of betrayer, but Saint Peter does. The same door was offered to both of them, and Peter chose the door leading out of despair even though he might have crawled through it on his knees. His repentance found strength in God’s mercy. He chose to believe that perfect love not only casts out fear, but also despair. Peter believed in forgiveness and trusted that there is no wound of sin in us that God’s mercy cannot heal. Do we choose the door of hope that leads into our freedom? Do we ask God to help us love and know ourselves as He does, and when He shows us something broken but beautiful, do we trust that He sees the truth? Do we know that He loves us?
Sophia House describes each of us as an icon that reflects Jesus Christ, and that though we are sullied and scratched, the master painter can restore us to our full beauty. Christ has told us to be perfect and that nothing is impossible for God: we have to remember that the command and the promise go together, because the first without the second will only lead us into despair and the two in union with one another form the door that leads into life. God offers help, healing, and freedom: we only have to trust that He has shown us the way out of our shadowlands into His marvelous light. We have to place our hope in His promise of divine forgiveness that never fails.
Friends, in our faith God shows us the path to all true joy: we just have to believe it with our will even when we feel nothing in our hearts. Trust that even in times of darkness and doubt, our way out is through hope. And I send along to each of you, as ever, my
Love, prayers, JOOOYYY!!! And a HAPPY HAPPY (and most blessed) FRIDAY!!! HOODAALALLYYY!!!