Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 76

Long flights give us plenty of time to reflect on many things, without the pressure of feeling as though we are losing precious hours of our day. As I often stay up late the night before departing to finish works, the first priority is to sleep. As it has happened so many times before, I am in sound slumber before the plane even takes off from the ground. This is a blessing. When traveling with the former Rector General, Fr. Fritz Kretz, I would see him reading books throughout the night, as he wasn’t able to sleep in a moving plane. For someone visiting 56 countries, those sleepless nights will certainly turn his hair grey- if he is ever blessed with some still standing on his head! Hence, just like St. Joseph, “if there is a problem, I write a note to St. Joseph and put it under a statue that I have in my room. It is a statue of St. Joseph sleeping. And now he sleeps on a mattress of notes! That’s why I sleep well: it is the grace of God.” Nevertheless, once the initial nap is over, the mind can fly in all directions. Once I was taking a short flight from New Delhi to another Indian city, Raipur. The plane took off at 6:00 am, ascending in the early hours of morning. At around 6:30, I noticed a bright spot in the distant sky. Gradually, the whole area became brighter and brighter while the rest of the sky remained very dark. Then, it struck me that it was the dawn of a new day. The sun was rising gradually, yet it was all happening quite fast. I could see how quickly the earth was turning. Such a movement is ordinarily not visible, but from above, the entire process is evident. As minutes continued to pass, the whole area brightened up until we could see the flaming fire of the sun. As it rose, darkness withdrew. By 7:00, it was a beautiful morning! The night is over, and the day is on! What beautiful colors in the sky! And the earth below waking up to a new day. The cool breeze and the singing of birds, it was a fresh beginning once again! During the many travels and visitations with full day programs- often up to 11pm- returning to the room was always a happy moment for me; a sort of liberating experience. I wondered how I would be able to do it again the following day with the same intensity. So much physical and mental tiredness ensued after all of the meetings, homilies, and problem solving during the day. 76