Born. Lived. Died?

My second daughter, Sarai, was born last night at 12:07 AM.  Mom did great during the flawless delivery that was covered not only by the OBGYN on call during the holiday weekend, but the thousands of Angels that caught whiff of the news after partying hard with the holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. Sarai’s birth was their after party (I blame my guardian angel for inviting them).

Strangely enough, at about 8:30 when the pain meds had already taken their sleepy effects on my wife, I pulled out my copy of St. Francis de Sales Introduction to the Devout Life (which I was convinced to read after hearing Patrick Coffin’s recommendation) and read this:

“Consider that but a few years since you were not born into the world, and your soul was as yet non-existent. Where wert thou then, O my soul? the world was already old, and yet of thee there was no sign. God brought you out of this nothingness, in order to make you what you are.*

I was floored by profundity.  In the wake of creation, I gazed back to nine months ago when Sarai was nothing but a desire deep within her mother and father.  Where was she then?  Deep within the desire of her (capital “F”) Father.

In all of history, the majority of men and women can be biogrophized by two sentences, S/he was born- such a date, and S/he died- such a date.  Very few are known for their eternal actions that started while on earth, but then intensified once they joined up with those party animal Angels and their Alpha (& Omega) Male, Christ.  They are Saints, otherwise known as the best imitators of Christ who, by means of copying the divine, wax their souls into the fullness of life well after this world pronounces them “dead”.

And to think, all of this

and this

and this

began with nothingness.

What a Creator we live for!  Now, to live forever so that our biographies read born, lived and continues to do so.

 *Francis of Sales, Saint (2009-06-09). Introduction to the Devout Life – Enhanced Version (Kindle Locations 438-440). Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Kindle Edition. 

God Likes School, My Student’s Don’t

I am a teacher and in my many years of experience I have given thousands of tests.  It might sound a bit simple, but I’ve deduced that the only thing that stands between my students and their success is whether or not they understand what is on the test!
You see, my students look to me to teach them what they need to know.  They do so unwillingly for the most part, seeing school an institutional jail in most cases as opposed to the inspirational springboard to success that I see it as.  But I digress.  The means by which they grow in knowledge is whether I am willing (and capable) to share mine with them.  Then, they are expected to put this knowledge into practice and prove their understanding of it.  The more they practice, the better off they are.  

Interestingly enough, our spirituality is the same.  The only thing that stands between us and Heaven is knowledge.  We are first unwillingly sent to Earth to learn this knowledge (which God sees as a inspirational springboard to success but we tend to see as a jail of sorts).  Then, we look to God to share His knowledge with us (unless we think that by eating His apples we need not consult Him).  Next, we are supposed to put this knowledge into practice and prove our understandings of them.  The more we practice, the better off we are.

Our lives are a constant test that includes the (multiple) choices we make, the recognition of what is true (and false), the (fill in the) blank slates of forgiveness, and the (story) problems that we face every day.  While I am sure that most of us are either barely passing or waiting until the last moment to study, the Teacher is instructing.

Listen to Him, and always be prepared for a (pop) quiz.