Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 57

As the history of the lives of saints show, each one of us may be attracted to some specific aspect of Jesus’ life. Such particular attraction may be the fruit of our unique personality, personal story, and the conditions of which we are placed. We can look to the examples of St. Francis of Assisi to the poor Jesus; St. Vincent Pallotti to Jesus, Apostle of the Eternal Father; and St. Therese of Lisieux to the adorable, Infant Jesus. If we go deep into ourselves, we will discover that some aspect of Jesus’ life has touched us in a more profound way. There is some guiding value and ideal in the life of each of us. For me, Jesus’ birth in the manger, His life of poverty until death on the Cross, His compassionate heart that pulsed for people who were hungry, His profound empathy towards the broken persons, the Paschal Mystery of His suffering, death, and resurrection, are all values that have determined my experience of Jesus. Hence when I go on Visitations, the most important matters to be discussed are not the buildings and finances, but rather our call to an authentic Christian life. Again, let us turn toward St. Francis. When he received a call from God that said, “go, rebuild My house,” it was not to rebuild the beautiful basilica that now stands. No, it was to give his life radically for the Lord and His Church, becoming a testimony that lives forever. Francis shows us that a Christian’s foundation is not built upon man-made concrete, but rather living stones beside one another that follow the values of the Gospel. This is the foundation of God; the only foundation that survives the tests of storms and times. In these storms, the pilot can likely make an error, causing the plane to drop in altitude without our knowledge. But with the Lord no harm will prevail, and it will be soon brought back to cruising altitude. In spiritual terms, it is the process of daily discernment that enables us to maintain the safe, spiritual altitude. As St. Ignatius of Loyola would say, we need to keep watching the movement of the good spirit and the bad spirit, making necessary adjustments along the way. This leads to the one quality that is so essential for a captain, as well as anyone 57