Ave Verum Corpus

By Marlene Schultz

communion

I have never held the Lord in my hands during Communion, and I consider that one of my most precious blessings. I receive the Eucharist on the tongue, whether I attend the Extraordinary or Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, and I firmly intend to keep it that way. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes I’m kneeling, tongue sticking out, for what seems an inexorable amount of time as the priest reaches for a Host in the chalice. My eyes are closed, partly for holiness, but mostly to avoid awkwardly staring the priest in the eye. I wonder if I look like a frog trying to catch a fly, or a baby bird with its mouth gaping open. And then I sense a Host being placed gently on my tongue. I don’t determine the moment the Lord comes to me. I am always surprised.

There are so many times before Mass when I examine my hands. I remember how I was cleaning up chicken excrement only three hours before. I see the sweat and feel the grime from clutching my choir binder. And even more clearly, I remember the sins I committed (and still commit) with those two hands. How worthy am I to have the Eucharist placed in those hands? And then how could I take those hands and place the Lord in my mouth?

In the Traditional Latin Mass (the Extraordinary Form), after the Consecration the priest keeps the fingers that consecrated, held, and distributed the Eucharist pressed together. He is mindful that not even the most atomic particles of the Host clinging to his fingers are profaned. Not until the Ablutions, where he ritually purifies the chalice and cleanses his hands, does the priest separate his fingers. Perhaps this could be seen as a minor scruple that isn’t necessary. But love is intertwined with a care for the little things, little sacrifices for our one true Love. The example of our priests resonates throughout the Church, and my own care for the Eucharist is deeply influenced by them.

Receiving Communion on the tongue counters my human weaknesses so perfectly, especially my prideful and arrogant tendencies. I want to do everything myself, but Holy Communion forces me to be fed like a child again. I must humble myself and kneel down, relinquishing all control of the Mystery that is about to be unfolded before me. The Blessed Sacrament, the Bread of Angels, is the medicine of our souls. The Divine Physician gave himself to us – body, blood, soul, and divinity – and I cannot be the person to initiate my Communion. When I kneel and am given the Eucharist on the tongue, I am reminded that I do not receive the Lord because of my own strength or worthiness. Everything in my life is a gift, and the Eucharist is the greatest of them all.

For a thorough examination of the history of receiving Communion on the tongue, I highly recommend Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s small booklet called Corpus Christi: Holy Communion and the Renewal of the Church. I can only speak from my personal experiences as a new Catholic, and I cannot equal the insights of such a Prince of the Church.

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The Last Communion of St. Jerome, by Sandro Botticelli 


Marlene is a chicken in disguiseMarlene Schultz is a sophomore at Evergreen Valley College with a vague intention of majoring in Art. She doesn’t believe in extracurricular activity, but Marlene loves singing (badly) Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony in her church’s choir, hugging her pet chickens, drinking gallons of English black tea, and suffering. Do not speak of liturgical dance to Marlene, or she will taunt you a second time.

Finding Your Constant

By Levina Robin

Less than three weeks until I receive my diploma. Three weeks until my entire life changes and will continue to change.

These have been the only thoughts racing through my head since this week began. It’s hard to think about anything else when the last four years of my life are coming to an end, and I am beginning a new chapter of my life. Unknown-5

But then it hit me, this has happened many times before. New chapters from moving cities, new chapters from graduating high school, and new chapters with new relationships. That’s just life. 

With the thought of life constantly changing, my heart quickly starts racing, and that’s when I realize, I need a constant for myself.

I chose my constant to be meditation. My entire life everyone around me has mentioned the thought of meditation. It never was something I wanted to attempt, until my boyfriend told me the magical meditation he had in class one day.

“We have to try it tonight!” he exclaimed when he saw me.

So we did. We found a quiet meditation room in the midst of our university. We sat up straight upon a chair, put our thumbs together, and closed our eyes with no time constraint.

When my eyes finally opened, I could feel a definite difference in my mood and my level-headedness. Just one meditation, and it made the world of a difference. The next day, I found that I was in a content state of mind, my heart stopped racing with the sound of graduation and change. I had to do it again, meditate, I mean. Ever since then, we set aside at least 20 minutes to meditate everyday, and shortly after reflect on our meditation.

The amazing part of meditating is that it is different for everyone. For me, meditation is a visual activity. As soon as I close my eyes, images start floating up and I am filled with content-ness. On the other hand, my boyfriend’s meditation yield memories and past feelings but also yield content-ness.

Try it at home: 

Pick a quiet-ish place somewheUnknown-4re around you. It does not have to be totally quiet because the sounds can trigger great thoughts within your meditation. Make sure your back is supported where you are sitting so you can be as comfortable as possible. Now, put your thumbs together ever so lightly. If you find yourself pressing too hard, you are thinking too hard about something, and therefore are not relaxed. If your thumbs start to drift apart, that means you are entering a mode of sleeping. Now, pick a word, any word, that has any meaning to you. Often I do random words like water, nature, dreams, trust, or wonder.

Now close your eyes and let your mind take you wherever it wants to lead you. Let go of the reality around you. Only open your eyes when you are ready.

Warm Bodies, Imagine Dragons, and Conversion?

By Maleny Quiroz

“What do I have to do with conversion and Imagine Dragons??”

Ah the connotation of conversion today is so odd, so before you start thinking of it as the “forceful imposing of one’s beliefs upon another person,” please try to keep an open mind about this topic. But what does this have to do with the weird movie Warm Bodies anyway? SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. Done? Ok here we go with my cray comparison:

In the beginning of the movie, we get a nice view of the zombies that populate an airport. As R points out to us, he and the rest of his zombie buddies go round and round without a sense of purpose (if those lines sound familiar it’s because I borrowed them from Imagine Dragon’s awesome song Round and Round that you need to go and listen to because I’ll be referencing it throughout this article . . . and because it’s a great song in general). If you think about it, this tends to be the case when we don’t include Christ in our lives; we go around living and going places but like the song says “without a sense of purpose we’re setting up to fail.” This in a way happens to the zombies of Warm Bodies too, if they continue in that state, they might get infected (ahem metaphor for sin perhaps?), become bonies, start eating themselves, and eating others in the process as well.

Initially, there seems to be no cure for these zombies, they walk and (kinda almost) talk but they might as well be dead. It seems like “all the emptiness inside [them] is hard enough to fill.” Perhaps, it might seem that way from the outside looking in when we, Catholics, meet with a non-believer, that in a way we have to fill in an empty void in these individuals . . . that we must convert them, bring them to new life (2 Corinthians 5:17). However we should take into account Pope Francis’s words on the matter:

We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI petting a cat because why not :)

And we can’t forget Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s words either:

The Church does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by “attraction“- just as Christ “draws all to himself” by the power of his love, culminating in the sacrifice of the Cross, so the Church fulfills her mission to the extent that, in union with Christ, she accomplishes every one of her works in spiritual and practical imitation of the love of her Lord.

What does that mean? That if you go around thinking “I want to convert people,” they’re going to think “I’m not gonna let you change my mind.” In truth we as humans can’t really “convert” someone. Conversion is the turning of one’s heart towards, in this case God, but it’s not an action that can be manipulated. Pay attention to the words “attraction” and “love” in the quotations previously provided. In the film, R’s heart starts beating again as he starts to feel attraction and love toward/from Julie, and he becomes human, comes to new life as this love grows ever more. Not to mention that this love rekindles the hearts of other zombies as well and eventually brings them back to life too.

Now, to clarify, the Holy Spirit is the only one that truly moves hearts and guides people to Christ. However, we can do some things: love and pray that the person may respond by having the desire to come to the fullness of Christ and His Church. If that person still thinks “I’m not gonna let you change my mind till you show me what this life is for,” love them, love them even more, and show them that this life is for spreading the love of God amongst all His creatures. Be patient, pray, listen, and answer questions if needed. Don’t worry, “you don’t have to make it right, just hold your head up high” and look up to God, He will be the one to make it right.


¿Mi novio es un zombie, Imagine Dragons y conversión?

Por Maleny Quiroz

“¿¿Y yo que tengo que ver con la conversión y con Imagine Dragons??”

Ah la connotación de la conversión hoy en día es tan extraña, así que antes de empezar a pensar en ella como la “forzosa imposición de creencias de una persona a otra persona,” por favor, trata de mantener una mente abierta acerca de este tema. Pero, ¿qué tiene que ver esto con la película rara de Mi novio es un zombie? ALERTA DE SPOILER: Si no la has visto, ve a verla ahora …ya? Ok aquí vamos con mi comparación medio loca:

En el comienzo de la película, tenemos una bonita vista de los zombis que pueblan un aeropuerto. Como R nos señala, él y el resto de sus amiguitos zombis dan vueltas y vueltas sin un sentido de propósito (si esas líneas te suenan es porque las tome prestadas de la canción impresionante Round and Round de Imagine Dragons que tienes que escuchar porque estaré haciéndole referencia a lo largo de este artículo … y porque es una gran canción en general). Si te pones a pensar, este tiende a ser el caso cuando no incluimos a Cristo en nuestras vidas; damos vueltas viviendo y yendo a lugares pero como dice la canción “sin un sentido de propósito estamos preparándonos para fallar.” De una manera esto sucede con los zombis de Mi novio es un zombie también, si continúan en ese estado, puede ser que se infecten (ejem metáfora para el pecado, tal vez?), que se convierten en huesudos, empiecen a comerse a sí mismos, y a comerse a otros en el proceso también.

Al principio, no parece haber ninguna cura para estos zombis, caminan y (medio casi) hablan pero bien podrían estar muertos. Parece que “todo el vacío dentro de [ellos] es bastante difícil de llenar.” Tal vez, podría parecer así desde el exterior viendo hacia adentro cuando nosotros, los católicos, nos encontramos con un no creyente, que de alguna manera tenemos que llenar un espacio vacío en estos individuos … que tenemos que convertirlos, llevarlos a una nueva vida (2 Corintios 5:17). Sin embargo hay que tener en cuenta las palabras del Papa Francisco sobre el asunto:

Podemos inspirar a otros a través del testimonio de modo que uno crezca juntos al comunicarse. Pero lo peor de todo es el proselitismo religioso, que paraliza: “Estoy hablando contigo con el fin de persuadirte.” No, cada persona dialoga, empezando por su propia identidad. La iglesia crece por atracción, no por proselitismo.

El Papa Emerito XVI acariciando un gato porque ¿por qué no? :)

Y no podemos olvidar las palabras del Papa emérito Benedicto XVI tampoco:

La Iglesia no se involucra en el proselitismo. En cambio, ella crece por “atracción” – así como Cristo “atrae a todos hacia sí mismo” por el poder de su amor, culminando en el sacrificio de la Cruz, por lo que la Iglesia cumple su misión en la medida en que, en unión con Cristo, ella logra cada una de sus obras en la imitación espiritual y práctica del amor de su Señor.

¿Qué significa eso? Que si vas pensando “quiero convertir a la gente,” van a pensar “No voy a dejar que cambies mi manera de pensar.” En verdad, nosotros, como seres humanos no podemos realmente “convertir” a alguien. La conversión es cuando el corazón da vuelta hacia, en este caso Dios, pero no es una acción que puede ser manipulada. Ponle atención a las palabras “atracción” y “amor” en las citas dadas previamente. En la película, el corazón de R comienza a latir de nuevo al empezar a sentir atracción y amor hacia/de Julie, y se convierte en humano, llega a una nueva vida al su amor crecer cada vez más. No cabe mencionar que este amor enciende de nuevo los corazones de otros zombis y finalmente los trae de vuelta a la vida también.

Ahora, para aclarar, el Espíritu Santo es el único que realmente mueve los corazones y que guía a las personas a Cristo. Sin embargo, sí podemos hacer algunas cosas: amar y rezar para que la persona pueda responder al tener el deseo de llegar a la plenitud de Cristo y su Iglesia. Si esa persona sigue pensando “No voy a dejar que cambies mi manera de pensar hasta que me muestres para que es esta vida” ámalos, ámalos aún más y demuéstrales que esta vida es para expandir el amor de Dios entre todas sus criaturas. Se paciente, reza, escucha y responde preguntas si es necesario. No te preocupes, “no tienes que hacerlo bien, solo mantén tu cabeza en alto” y mira hacia Dios, Él será el encargado de hacer que las cosas salgan bien.

The Bible Through a Feminist Lens

 

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Hagar and Ishamel

Being a feminist woman, I have had trouble reading the Bible on numerous occasions. For many women, feminist or not, it can be hard because of the lack of females as subjects and the often misrepresentation and marginalization of the females who are included. Just as a reminder, the definition of a feminist is a person who believes in the equality of men and women.

I am currently taking a religion course that focuses solely on the women of the Bible and it has immensely helped me in becoming more comfortable reading the Bible again. There are a few key things that I have learned that I would like to share.


Make the woman the subject.

There is a lack of stories with female characters in leading roles. Often, the women are supporting characters or appear only to serve a singular purpose in a story. So, make them the subject. Do a close read of a passage you think you know well that includes a female character. Focus only on her, think about the story from her perspective, and ask questions about her. You might be surprised about how much you can learn.

Understand the social and historical context in which the Bible was written.

The Bible was written in in an extremely patriarchal time and society. The forces against women were much stronger than they are now. There were established social norms and laws that made it very difficult for women to get the rights that they deserved. While we cannot change the past, we can learn from it, and we can understand that many of the results for how women were treated and portrayed were a result of these contexts.

The Bible is a human construct.

Humans wrote the Bible, therefore like humans, it has its flaws. Many times I think we take the Bible very literally, when that was not always God’s intention. Should we take 1 Peter 3:1 literally when women are told to submit to their husbands? I cannot justify that God would have intended such a verse to be included in the Bible where he also says that both man and woman were equally created in God’s image. But, while the Bible is a human construct, God is not.

Women have come a long way, but we are not quite there.

The fact that there are being classes taught about just the women of the Bible goes to show how far we have come since the days that the actual Bible was written. Some scholars devote their entire life’s work to reading and interpreting biblical stories using feminist lenses, illustrating how important this topic is. Even Pope Francis said the following last month,

“Why is it a given that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is pure scandal.”

But, we still have a long way to go. Many would argue that we are still living in a highly patriarchal society. So, remember to read the Bible with a critical eye, noting and taking into account when women are mistreated, misrepresented, or marginalized. For further reading on this topic, I recommend Clothed with the Sun by Joyce Hollyday and Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes by Alice Odgen Bellis.

A Resume Shaped Heart?

By Levina Robin

I’m walking through a fair of careers. Actually, I can barely breathe because of the overbearing amount of students sweating from carrying their resumes and buttoning their shirts up all the way tojob-fair their necks in order to prove that somehow that makes them more professional. Students faking smiles and trying to perfect their firm handshakes because a weak hand just doesn’t cut it in the real world. I walk with a personality and just one dimple, hoping one of the recruiter’s eyes catches the sparkle in my eye and they’ll be blown away by my passion for life and yearning to learn. I walk over to an oversized poster for a company I can’t seem to pronounce. “Hi! I’m Levina.” The smallest of talk goes on for a bit as I figure out how to slip my resume into their fingers in the wittiest and sneakiest way possible. They glance over it for what I counted as 2.34 seconds when they look at me and ask, “What is your GPA, miss?”

Living in the Silicon Valley, I have become used to having a resume constantly ready. I have a resume that is updated regularly, often weekly. I have a resume for my design work, and a black and white one for the jobs that won’t take my colored ones. I have cover letters and questions prepared. Although, whenever I am motivated in terms of my professional career, it always feels like there is something missing. I realized what I was missing this past year during my job search when companies had such a hard time telling me how they were socially impacting the world around them for the better. They were missing virtues and values that I had grown up my entire life believing in. Their answers just didn’t quite click with me. It felt like just because these companies weren’t doing something awful and immoral, they were in the clear.

Unknown-1“You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be O.K. But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.” – David Brooks


Empathy.

That’s what was missing. images


Recently, I was able to put these virtues that companies were missing into words thanks to this article.

“It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful.”

This article starts out describing the person that has a light inside them and the gratitude they hold within. The kind of people that you look at and say, “The world would be a better place if there were more of you.” They come around every so often and meeting them motivates you to become a better person.

As we move into the future, we realize that academia does not teach you to be an empathic person with these eulogy virtues. Then, it is truly up to us to develop these virtues and become a person that holds empathy to a high standard. And the fact isUnknown-3, everyone’s eulogy virtues are different, just like their resume virtues. And the best part? We get to work on them! They were not something we were born with, but rather something we can make for ourselves, become better at, and encourage others to do the same. It can be learned.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with having resume skills. So why not have both? There is something wrong with having no heart beyond your resume and your career. Would you like a resume shaped heart?

After reading the article, I decided to write my own moral bucket list. What do I want to give to people? What do I want to be able to become as a human being separate from my career? It is useful to have quantitative goals and qualitative goals within this. Sometimes you can not measure love, but you can definitely choose to do something tangible within a week or so, to learn and to grow, and then to help.

So, what’s on your moral bucket list?

Finding Spirituality at a Public College

By Michelle Sullivan

UnknownIt was the second week of college and I felt like something was out of place. Other than being a totally new world and being 300 miles from home, it felt like something else was missing from my life. Although I knew I missed Mass for the last two weekends, I did not know that that would be the reason attributed to my out-of-place feeling. I then realized I did not get to go to Mass and it had been months since I had last missed Mass. I had gone to a catholic elementary school, middle school, and high school and felt so displaced in college. I came from a family that was so passionate about spirituality and expanding our faith together. However, I was always the most religious in my family, constantly motivating my six person family to go to church on Sundays. It was scary though, I did not want to go to a church by myself even if I were to find one. I did not know how to find a church buddy that would want to make that commitment of making it to Mass every Sunday. And the thought of being labeled as a Christian club junkie terrified me. After my Intro to Psychology class ended that day, I went directly up to my teacher, not even knowing what religion she celebrated, if any, and asked her how I could fulfill the hole I had in my heart for my faith in a public school. She led me to some crazy ideas of how to fill this void, and I would love to share them with all of you.

Here are some wonderful ways to reach out and expand on your faith when resources aren’t readily available like they are at private schools:

Reach out to Teachers

If you have a favorite teacher, they are your favorite teacher for a reason and will most likely be able to help and at the very least be able to listen to you. Teachers are full of connections and networks to help you feel fully at ease with your faith.

Join a Christian Club

By joining, there is no real commitment to hanging out with these people and doing things with them, and only if you want to. It also does not have to be distinctly a Christian Club, there are so many different versions of this now and clubs that go by different names and social missions but share that common theme of faith.

Reach out to Friends and Classmates4-2-4-mission-and-ministries

Although it is hard to talk about spirituality when you first start meeting people, it truly does wonders when you dig a little deeper with the person next door or someone you say hi to regularly. Everyone has a spiritual side but not everyone is willing to talk about it. You have nothing to lose by just digging deeper with someone. Ask them what their spiritual goals are, and how they want to accomplish them in college.

Join Organizations with a Social Mission

Although not everyone in these organizations are closely tied to a religious mission, a lot of these people have access to people who prioritize their faith and spirituality. When you start talking to these people, you get inspired and get connected.

Find a Church that is local and easily accessible

Sometimes the first venture to a Church is worth it because they have programs for youth and college students. From there, the possibilities are endless for you to find someone who shares a similar faith to you and who goes to the same university or college as you! There is nothing wrong with riding the bus to Church! And who knows, you might make a friend with a car or make friends that want to ride the bus with you too!

Kids-Yoga-665x385Join Meditation Sessions

A lot of colleges have a new trend of meditation. What an awesome way to meet people but get to meditate as well! Meditation puts you at ease and peace and is a great way to get in tune with your spiritual side especially for those days when you cannot make it to a Church to express it.

In the end, it is about reaching out to sources that might not have anything to do with spirituality or religion, but trust me, it all helps in the end!

Good luck my spiritual collegiate!


Michelle is a junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

A Love Quiz

By Maleny Quiroz

Call me silly, because I am, but when I take interest in a guy I look for signs to see if he likes me. “Oh he looked at me in a certain way, what does that mean? He told me blah blah blah, does that mean that he likes me or is he just trying to be nice?” But of course, with my very limited knowledge about the male mind, I investigate elsewhere to decode this “love” puzzle: online quizzes, videos, and articles.

Why do these feelings encapsulate us so much to the point of turning to silly quizzes to look for approval? Perhaps it’s the longing of feeling loved, and not just being loved by chance because you just happen to belong to some family and they’re supposed to love you, but because they choose to love you. While there’s nothing wrong with feeling like this (oh c’mon I know I’m not the only one!), the danger comes in focusing on this certain person, or on those feelings, so much that you fail to see the love that already exists in your life. Yes, there’s the love that comes from family, friends, but there are also other types of love and sacrifice that might not be as obvious to us.

What about the people that make door hinges, the people that repair air conditioners, the people that clean bathrooms, the people that suffer for us to have something as simple as pants, shoes, food? I feel like we rarely ever think about these people, and while they might just be making door hinges/repairing air conditioners/cleaning bathrooms, etc. for the sake of having something to eat, rather than for the love of actually working for that, in a way they exhibit a sort of love for us by doing some unrecognized job that allows us to live life comfortably. This reminds me of Rise Against’s Prayer of the Refugee video, that shows how much people suffer in order to provide us with things we rarely ever express our gratitude about.

I know what you’re probably thinking, “Whoa . . . ok so what do liking someone and people that make things that we take for granted have in common?” The answer: love, or more precisely the love that we long for and the love that we are blind to. Then there’s the love of God. Do we long for His love? I dare to say that we all do, even, or perhaps, especially those that are blind to it. While many times I recognize that I fail to notice all the love and effort that people put into making or doing things we don’t pay much attention to, I wouldn’t say that I’m blind to the love of God . . . but maybe unknowingly I don’t see all of its splendor because I’m too busy thinking about what could happen in the future. Let me paint this image with two experiences that happened recently:

A few days ago I went to Eucharistic adoration and I was pretty stressed out and confused. I’ve been mostly asking God for guidance because I don’t know what to do with my potato-y* love feelings and I don’t want to lose my focus on Him. I look up and what do I see? The Eucharist in all its splendor. “You want a sign to know that you’re loved? Here it is!” Jesus, you know us too well, you didn’t just love us in the past, but you continue to offer yourself to us so that we may live in you and you in us. First you turn into a human to be among us, then you turn into a tiny piece of bread so that you can live in us!

150419a-mother-teresa

Second experience: During the last Spanish Mass at our school the priest told a fictitious story that illuminated the message of the homily. He talked about a monastery that was really well known and lively. Lots of people would make pilgrimages to get there and they would always have many young people that would want to join to become monks. Then there came a time when people stopped going and only a few monks and priests were left. They were very sad and confused, so one of them went to talk to a guru to ask him what was going on in the monastery. The guru told the monk that what he lacked was wisdom, that God was among them. So he told the rest of the monks and they all started wondering, “Who could it be? Could God be in Brother Andrew? Nah he’s too grouchy. How about Brother Simon? Oh I don’t know about him . . .” While the wondering continued, they started to act better towards one another, they started to radiate a joy that would attract people to come and join again. Ultimately we realize that God wasn’t one of them, but He was indeed in all of them.

Now everything comes together and I begin to a see a peek of what God wants me, or perhaps all of us, to understand. Love from a romantic relationship enhances us and should help us come closer to God, but God’s love is the only one that can fulfill our hearts and our longings. So tonight instead of taking silly quizzes to see if this potato-y boy likes me, I’ll go to Mass to allow God’s love in me, through the Eucharist and the people, so that I can go out to the world and love through God.

*For those that don’t know me, I use the word potato for everything or anything that I can’t describe with words


Un examen de amor

Por Maleny Quiroz

Llámame tonta, porque lo soy, pero cuando me interesa un muchacho busco señales para ver si le gusto. “Oh, me vio de cierta manera, ¿qué significa eso? Me dijo, bla, bla, bla, ¿eso significa que le gusto o simplemente esta tratando de ser amable?” Pero claro, con mi conocimiento tan limitado sobre la mente masculina, investigo en otros lugares para decodificar este “rompecabezas de amor”: en exámenes que te dicen si le gustas en línea, videos y artículos.

¿Por qué nos encapsulan tanto estos sentimientos hasta el punto de recurrir a exámenes de amor tontos en busca de aprobación? Tal vez es el anhelo de sentirse amado, y no sólo ser amado por casualidad, porque perteneces a alguna familia y se supone que te tienen que amar, sino porque alguien elige amarte. Si bien no hay nada malo con sentirse así (¡sé que no soy la única!), el peligro viene en centrarse en esta persona, o en esos sentimientos, tanto que uno no pueda ver el amor que ya existe en nuestras vida. Sí, hay amor que viene de familia y amigos, pero también hay otros tipos de amor y sacrificios que tal vez no sean tan obvios para nosotros.

¿Qué hay de las personas que hacen las bisagras de las puertas, las personas que reparan acondicionadores, las personas que limpian los baños, las personas que sufren para que tengamos algo tan simple como pantalones, zapatos, comida? Siento como que rara vez pensamos acerca de estas personas, y a pesar de que sólo estén haciendo bisagras/reparación de aire acondicionado/ limpieza de baños, etc., para poder tener algo de comer, en lugar de por amor al arte, de una manera expresan una especie de amor por nosotros al hacer un trabajo no reconocido que nos permite vivir la vida cómodamente. Esto me recuerda al video de la canción Prayer of the Refugee de Rise Against, que muestra la cantidad de personas que sufren con el fin de proveernos cosas por las cuales casi nunca expresamos nuestra gratitud.

Se que es lo que probablemente estas pensando, “Guau… pero que tienen que ver el hecho de que te guste alguien y la gente que hace cosas que subestimamos?” La respuesta: el amor, o mejor dicho el amor que anhelamos y el amor que somos incapaces de ver. Luego está el amor de Dios. ¿Anhelamos su amor? Me atrevo a decir que todos lo hacemos, incluso, o quizás sobre todo, los que son ciegos a él. Si bien muchas veces reconozco que no alcanzo a darme cuenta de todo el amor y el esfuerzo que la gente pone en hacer cosas a las que no prestamos mucha atención, no diría que estoy ciega al amor de Dios… pero tal vez sin saberlo, no veo todo su esplendor porque estoy demasiado ocupada pensando en lo que podría suceder en el futuro. Déjame pintar esta imagen con dos experiencias que sucedieron recientemente:

Hace unos días fui a la adoración eucarística y estaba bastante estresada y confundida. He estado sobre todo pidiéndole a Dios que me guie, porque no sé qué hacer con mis sentimientos tontos de amor y no quiero perder mi enfoque en Él. Miro hacia arriba y ¿qué veo? La Eucaristía en todo su esplendor. “¿Quieres una señal para saber que eres amada? ¡Aquí está!” Jesús, tú nos conocen demasiado bien, no sólo nos amaste en el pasado, pero sigues ofreciéndote a nosotros para que podamos vivir en ti y tú en nosotros. Primero te conviertes en un ser humano para estar entre nosotros, y después te conviertes en un pequeño trozo de pan para que puedas vivir en nosotros!

“Cuando ves el crucifijo entiendes cuanto Jesús nos amo en ese entonces. Cuando ves la Sagrada Hostia, entiendes cuanto Jesús te ama ahorita.” –Beata Madre Teresa de Calcuta

“Cuando ves el crucifijo entiendes cuanto Jesús nos amo en ese entonces. Cuando ves la Sagrada Hostia, entiendes cuanto Jesús te ama ahorita.” –Beata Madre Teresa de Calcuta

Segunda experiencia: Durante la última misa en español en nuestra escuela, el sacerdote contó una historia ficticia que iluminó el mensaje de la homilía. Habló de un monasterio que era muy bien conocido y alegre. Había mucha gente que hacía peregrinaciones para llegar allí y siempre tenían muchos jóvenes que querían unirse para convertirse en monjes. Entonces llegó un momento en que las personas dejaron de ir y sólo unos pocos monjes y sacerdotes quedaron. Estaban muy tristes y confundidos, por lo que uno de ellos fue a hablar con un gurú para preguntarle qué estaba pasando en el monasterio. El gurú le dijo al monje que lo que le faltaba era sabiduría, que Dios estaba entre ellos. Así que se lo dijo al resto de los monjes y todos comenzaron a preguntarse: “¿Quién podría ser? ¿Podría Dios estar en el hermano Andrew? No creo, es demasiado gruñón. ¿Qué tal el hermano Simón? Ay no sé…” Mientras que las dudas continuaron, empezaron a actuar mejor uno hacia el otro, y comenzaron a irradiar una alegría que atraía a la gente a que vinieran a unirse de nuevo. Ultimadamente, nos damos cuenta de que Dios no era uno de ellos, pero que Él estaba ciertamente en todos ellos.

Ahora todo se junta y empiezo a ver un pequeño vistazo de lo que Dios quiere que yo, o quizás todos nosotros, entendamos. El amor de una relación romántica nos realza y ​​debería ayudarnos a acercarnos más a Dios, pero el amor de Dios es el único que puede llenar nuestros corazones y nuestros anhelos. Así que esta noche en lugar de tomar exámenes tontos para ver si le gusto a este muchacho, voy ir a misa para dejar que el amor de Dios entre en mí, a través de la Eucaristía y la gente, para que yo pueda salir al mundo y amar a través Dios.