During the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, I strive to live with intentionality and creativity. At times, I have found myself struggling with a fear of the unknown that paralyzes me as I try to contemplate the many possibilities for what the future may hold. Ultimately, I trust in God as the One who created me out of love, who sent his Son into the world to die for me and to draw me into the life of the Trinity, and who sent the Holy Spirit to guide me. Yet, in the moments when my wonder turns to fear—about the health of those I love, what the fall semester will look like, or when I might next see and hug my family living out-of-state—I cling to a need for certainty and a desire to control.
In my office, right next to where I hang my coat, there is a phrase written on the wall: “Think Eternally, Act Hourly.” This is an adaptation of a common business phrase often used in international marketing. I have it strategically placed so I will see it every morning, as a needed reminder. The first part of the phrase renews my commitment to seek the Kingdom first. That’s the easy part. I say to God, “I commit myself to your eternal will.” The second part is always the challenge. It is as if God replies to me, “That’s fine, I’m happy for your commitment. In the next 60 minutes, you’re going to have an opportunity to show me if you really believe that.” Suddenly, the commitment is real, not theoretical, and it is going to cost me something right now, whether or not I am ready.
Editorial note: This blog is the first in a six-part series featuring our free Lenten resource, "A Scriptural Pilgrimage to Christ Through Lent," written by Lenny DeLorenzo.
In the center of Notre Dame’s campus is a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The words “Venite Ad Me Omnes” are engraved on the pedestal beneath the figure of Christ with outstretched arms. This is the Son of God who descended from the Father to become one with us. He went all the way down to the bottom of who and what we are, all the while beckoning: “come to me, everyone.”
As a perfectionist, I often seek out God in the wrong places; I pursue perfection instead of holiness. I await his revelation in the flawless, impeccable, perfect moments. But my penchant for the ideal means that I often keep God sequestered to the sacred precincts of some faraway sanctuary instead of inviting him into the moments of my life when I most need him: the less-than-perfect moments. Recently, I learned a very messy lesson about the grace of God in the chaos of life when I accidentally unleashed a deluge of foam into the hallways of the Catholic high school where I teach.