Sunday, February 19, 2006
From Coelho's "By the river Piedra i sat down and wept"
A Spanish missionary was visiting an island when he came across three Aztec priests. “How do you pray?” the missionary asked. “We have only one prayer,” answered one of the three Aztecs. “We say,’God you are three,we are three. Have pity on us.” “A beautiful prayer,” said the missionary.”But it is not what exactly the one that God heeds.I’m going to teach you one that’s much better.” The Padre taught them a Catholic prayer and then continued on his path of evangelism.Years later, when he was returning to Spain, his ship stood again at the island.From the deck, the missionary saw the three priests on the shore and waved to them. Just then, the three men began to walk across the water toward him. “Padre! Padre !” one of them called , approaching the ship. “Teach us again that prayer that God heeds. We’ve forgotten how it goes.” “It doesn’t matter,” responded the missionary,witnessing the miracle. And he promptly asked God’s forgiveness for failing to recognize that He speaks all languages. The story illustrates the fact that rarely do we realize that we are in the midst of the extraordinary.Miracles occur all around us, signs from God show us the way, angels plead to be heard, but we pay little attention to them because we are taught that we must follow certain formulas and rules if we want to find God. We do not recognize that God is wherever we allow Him/Her to enter. Traditional religious practices are important, they allow us to share with others the communal experience of adoration and prayer. But we must never forget that spiritual experience is above all a practical experience of love. And with love, there are no rules The heart decides , and what it decides is all that really matters. All of us have had this experience. At some point, we have each said through our tears,”I’m suffering for a love that’s not worth it”.We suffer because our love is going unrecognized.We suffer because we are unable to impose our own rules. But ultimately there is no good reason for our suffering, for in every love lies the seed of growth. The more we love, the closer we come to spiritual experience.Those who are truly enlightened, those whose souls are illuminated by love, have been able to overcome all of the inhibitions and preconceptions of the era. They have been joyful – because those who love conquer the world and have no fear of loss.