Do you know who you are? I know who I am...for now. It took a long time to figure it out. Like so many things we tend to take the simplest, the most obvious things for granted - as a given. But as you get older, you begin to realize that there are very few things in life that are straightforward or simple. When two people come to me and tell me that they want to get married, I ask them a simple question: Why? They typically answer, “We’re in love...Duh!” I then ask them, “Ah, so what is this love?” They come back, “Well, we know each other so well.” I then ask them, “How do you know anyone?” These questions may not be easy to answer, but they are the right questions to ask. We spend a lot of quality time researching before investing our money. The same should be true in the preparation for marriage. The rate of divorce is pretty much the same among Catholics as with the general population. Therefore, there is room for improvement! We can do better in preparing for marriage.
I love asking children, “Who are you?” They generally respond by telling me their name. I then proceed to explain to them that they are much more than just a name (I love the look on their face at this moment – eyes moving around, total confusion and at a total loss for words). I help them by reminding them that they are a beautiful gift from God.
To discover who you are takes years and children should not be rushed with details. They need time and guidance to grow, not fertilizer. Parents are on this earth to ensure that their children grow up straight in virtue and in morals. Otherwise, these poor kids will never learn to control themselves and will end up living the religion of carpe diem – which is not a religion of happy people but of very unhappy people. The very splendor of youth is their sense of being immortal, eternal, not some fleeting moment of self-induced ecstasy! Children should never be rushed or pushed into taking any one particular career path, and that includes sports, which continues to consume so much time and energy and is a source of unimaginable stress.
It is important that each us take a very personal journey of discovery, for in order to know who you are, you must unravel the mystery of who God is, who is independent of who you are.
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
The disciples discovered themselves when they discovered who Jesus is. To get to know themselves they had to trust in God. The Lord did not coerce them, nor did He ever strip them of their freedom. He called them and they followed, and they followed Him into a nasty storm. It reminds me of non-denominational churches. They claim to have taken all the good beliefs from other religions and excluded all the bad stuff. In my opinion, they took everything that was boring. A storm is scary, but it is also very thrilling; it released Christ’s power and in one single instant increased the disciples’ knowledge and trust of Him. Storms are a big hit with God. They help adults to grow up quickly.
The grace these men received could have been refused, like the rich young man, but they chose, out of their own free will, to accept the invitation and set out on the journey. The best way to know who you are is to know who God is. I will never be able to trust in the Lord until I get to know Him, and to know Him means I must get into the boat with Him.
Almighty and ever-living God, you Word is the rock in which we take refuse against all outward disturbance and inner turmoil. Pour forth upon your people the refreshing midst of water that rains upon us from your Son’s heart, so that we may overcome the storms of life as Jesus our Lord. Amen.