Permanence

We are blessed to have this week’s reflection from guest blogger Rose Ansara. Rose grew up at St. Nicholas and is currently studying at Northern Virginia Community College in Fairfax Virginia. Thank you Rose for sharing this week’s insight while Fr. Michael is attending to Archdiocese business in California.

 

I’m sitting in my car, foot impatiently tapping the break as I wait for horrendous D.C. traffic to crawl forward so my roommate and I can get to Saturday night vespers. Slowly one foot . . . another . . . aaaand stopped again. Irritation and despair are flooding through me, my sanity just barely standing by.

With two midterm exams, two essays, five discussion posts, and twenty-six hours of work from the week, I am desperate for some much needed spiritual reflection.

We arrive FINALLY (on Arab time of course), flustered from the heap of traffic, only to discover the church service has departed in peace.
Painfully inching my stiff and aching body out of the car, I begin to crawl toward the church doors, and when I glimpse a small piece of sky it’s like I’ve been clobbered by an invisible wall.

Right above me stands by far the most exquisite sunset I’ve seen since relocating to the D.C. area. My roommate just blankly staring at me as if I had spontaneously turned blue.

Feeling like Christ has held out His hand to me, I suddenly halt and remember to stand still and breathe for a moment.

         Hi friends! (Or people that don’t consider me a friend but still want to read this),

I find myself blowing off the dust from this old blog page I once knew.

I originally assumed that I would post at least once a month, reflecting on modern day issues affecting teens and young adult and conducting my own exploration through discussion.

But as with many endeavors, the blog became the task on the “to do list” that just never seemed to get a check mark next to its name.

So you may be curious: why start writing once again? Well my dear friends, everything will be crystal clear once we reach the end of this post.

As a college student, it’s common to find ourselves caught in a routine of being busy. With schoolwork, a job, and extra-curricular activities, life easily becomes incredibly hectic.

Today, you may feel as if you aren’t successful because your daily schedule isn’t considered “busy”.

To be labeled as busy is essentially a social marker of triumph.

This is partially due to our society, one that places immense pressure on high school students–as well as college students–to be the absolute best.

Playing a sport or working out, being actively involved with a club, being on a committee, having a 4.0 GPA, taking honors classes, possessing a job or internship, etc.

But when I sat in on the high school Sunday school class at my church a few weeks ago, we talked about permanence. At the end of the day, the things listed above may seem essential now–but they certainly aren’t everlasting.

Our attendance to every aspect of our spiritual life is beyond crucial and to sacrifice it for some other matter is selfish.

Christ died on the cross for each of us–God took His son and allowed Him to endure pain and torture. Why? Because He loves us.

Set the scene: It’s Sunday morning, and your alarm goes off. You realize you did not finish writing that huge essay you have known about for weeks and is due today.

When you decide to wait until the last moment to get your homework done and choose not to attend church, what are you saying to God?

“Sorry Boss, a bit busy today. Maybe I’ll get there next week, but today I’m booked!”

I want to refer specifically to the parable of the ten virgins, found in Matthew chapter 25:1-13. (Shoutout to my teacher Mr. Roger David; he embedded this story into my brain since I was a wee girl in his Sunday school class. It’s always stuck with me.)

The parable introduces ten virgins–five were foolish, the other five wise. They were brides, each awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. They each had lamps to lead them through the night, and the five who were wise brought extra oil with them. The five who were foolish did not.

The bridegroom was delayed, so the maidens slept as they waited for the bridegroom to appear. At midnight, the bridegroom came and the five who were wise trimmed their lamps, ready to head out and join the bridegroom.

“Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out,” the foolish asked. But the wise answered saying, “No, lest there should not be enough got us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourself.”

So the foolish scurry off to buy themselves enough oil, and while they were away the bridegroom came. The five wise that were ready and prepared went in with Him to the wedding feast, and the door was then shut.

The five that were foolish came to the door, knocking and pleading for the doors to open. “Lord, Lord open to us!” But He answered and explained that He did not know them.

“Watch therefore, for you will not know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

This parable shares such a vital truth about today’s busy schedules and myriad activities. We put these tasks in front of our spiritual life, and something as simple as buying more oil for a lamp (who doesn’t buy lamp oil on a weekly basis?) came in the way of the five maidens being united with Christ.

When Christ comes back, I guarantee there will be individuals who are locked in study rooms, scrolling through Twitter, powerlifting at the gym, or creating the best “in your feels” Spotify playlist.

Not to say that these miscellaneous tasks that have been listed are wrong per say, but sometimes they can become harmful if they interfere with our spiritual lives.

The sunset that stopped me in my tracks was my reminder that He needs to remain at the top of my priorities.

Clearly I am as guilty as can be–not only in my recent schedule, but for originally pushing aside this blog which serves as an extension of my spiritual life.

Although we can all get wrapped up in cramming for our final exams or sending out a mass Snapchat so your streaks won’t die, we would be far better off remembering the importance of putting our spiritual lives first.

May God bless you and keep you well during this joyous Nativity fast and season.

Sincerely,

A “Fool” For Christ

 

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