Living Mysteries

Recently, I took my son for an outing to see a baseball game. As is our family’s custom, we try to make a point that each child gets a one-on-one outing with mom and with dad. In that way, this outing was no different than many of the others we’ve taken.

What reflection and prayer revealed, even as the evening came to an end, made the occasion extra-ordinary. First, I’ll outline what happened, and then what God showed me.

As usual, we rode the train to the ballpark, but the train was very full and we had to stand. Standing on a moving train for that long can be difficult for a young boy, so I helped him – mostly, he just held on to me for stability. Eventually, a few seats opened up, and we got to sit together before our stop.

Once we arrived and made our way to our seats, he begged for this and that, wanted his way, didn’t really pay attention to what was going on, sat in the seat in every way that didn’t involve the conventional manner (you know, with one’s bottom on the seat). Finally, he lost his balance, fell and smashed what remained of his pop, and had to sit in wet pants until they dried.

Things returned to normal, only my son was more attentive. We got food, watched the game and all its features. He asked questions and tried to learn about the rules, how the game works, what the various numbers on the scoreboard meant and whether we were winning or losing.

Eventually, he was missing Mommy, and was visibly weary, so we boarded the train to go home and he fell asleep on my lap. At our stop, he was still solidly sleeping, so I picked him up (along with his popcorn) and carried him to the car. I drove him home to his mother’s care and the safety and warmth of his own bed.

As I carried him, I decided to continue with my daily Rosary, which often times spans portions of the whole day, as opposed to one sitting. I prayed the fourth Sorrowful Mystery (Jesus carries the Cross, if you need a refresher), bearing my own son along the streets and through the parking lot to our car.

That night, I played the part of Jesus, and my son played the part of me, from beginning to end.

God brings us to see and experience the wonders of life and we, being so willful, selfish and egocentric, miss many of those wonders. Too preoccupied with our own wants and imagined fantasies, we fail to care for our needs and actual dangers. Inevitably we fall prey to temptation, leading to injury, whether in body, soul or both.

The Lord, far outstripping any of our attempts at patience, lifts us from those hurts and offers us healing and a way forward in union with him. Again, he shows us the many beauties of human life. Having learned from what we lost, we both seek and receive from God wisdom, meaning, grace and virtue.

Before too long, we grow tired of travelling and thirst for arrival. In his mercy and strength, God bears us to the end of our sojourn to rest.

Even as Jesus bore the cross, even as I bore my sleeping son, the Father bears us on, through suffering, death, loss and bereavement.

Just as my son was for me that evening, I was the cross for Christ. The burden was me, and it was I that brought him to die. Even still, he is bringing me safely home, and he will lay me to rest in comfort when my days have run their course.

May you turn to God today, and by seeking, receive from him meaning in your path. May he show you the glories of success in Christian living, wisdom in sinful failure, reconciliation through sacramental graces and the hope of eternal life in the very presence of God at the end of a holy life.

David Dunst

Music Director

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