Have you ever noticed? Once you wake up, it’s almost impossible to go back to sleep. Now I’m not talking about when you wake up 30 minutes before the alarm clock and then burrow deeply into the pillows with the satisfied feeling that you have another glorious half-hour of hibernation. I’m talking about a different kind of awakening, one that can be helpful at times and at other times cause great personal angst. The awakening I’m talking about calls us to action, to service, to LOVE.
I suppose I cannot blame this awakening on the blog or on the Church of Mercy, the book by Pope Francis that started me on this journey back on Ash Wednesday. After all, as a cradle Catholic, love of neighbor and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy were part of the classroom rhetoric. I could list and define and fill in the blanks on tests but I don’t know how well I was living it.
Living through life’s challenges and ups and downs has a way of providing an education that is truly priceless. Every tear we shed, every merciful moment we share with another has the potential to break open our hardened hearts so that we may love God and others more deeply. For everyone, the road to this awakening is different and for many, the stories are far too personal to share, but I assure you the journey to being fully AWAKE is never dull and paved with nuggets of wisdom collected along the way.
I know that I have a long way to go in living out my Baptismal call to be “priest, prophet and king.” But I’m starting to really “get” the love of neighbor thing. The see Christ in everyone thing…I’m really trying and am part of a faith community that challenges me to grow in this area. But I know there’s so much need…so much more to do. “…speak for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3: 10)