Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 77

However, after a night’s sleep, I have always found the energy to carry on; not as an unavoidable burden, but as a joyful responsibility for my community. This is the case until today. I cannot explain it, but it is a grace. There are people who think that these travels around the world are a picnic. I have heard such remarks with my own ears. The truth is that- while initially it can be interesting- these travels become the most exhausting experience, both physically and mentally. The jet-lag, time differences, continuous meetings and preoccupations will certainly age and wear out every normal person. Upon returning home, there are letters waiting to be opened, issues to be solved, Council meetings to be had, and communications to persons concerned to be attended to. At times, an issue can drag on for several months or years. Even having the help of a Council, the captain takes the real punch. While others have a shared responsibility, the captain- or “capo”- has to take it all. The one who signs the letter is ultimately the one responsible for the decision. I have often thought of Pope Francis and the responsibilities entrusted to him in his 80s. How does this Vicar of Christ continue to carry forth all of these tasks with a smile on his face? Where does he get the energy from? What is his source of motivations. Certainly, there is the grace of the office. I, too, experience it in my own life. I could never have imagined facing the Americans, Brazilians, Polish, Rwandans, and all the rest with this much confidence, if it were not for the grace given by God to exercise my ministry. They would not have accepted my words, either, if it were not for the office that I was holding. That means that if God calls us to a mission, He will also give the grace to accomplish it. As Pope Francis writes in Gaudete et Exsultate, “could the Holy Spirit urge us to carry out a mission and then ask us to abandon it, or not fully engage in it, so as to preserve our inner peace? Life does not have a mission, it is a mission.” So, too, is that the story of all the great figures in the Bible like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Mary, Joseph, etc. “I am with you; do not be afraid.” This seems to be the inner message from God. So “You too need to see the entirety of your 77