The Search for Truth

20 Apr

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace. Alleluia.

This is an antiphon which, in the Liturgy of the Hours, closes night prayer.

I’ve prayed that antiphon for more than 40 years. But one night, I decided to pray it slowly as though for the first time. And this one phrase caught my attention:

              “… that awake we may keep watch with Christ …”

Over what, dear Lord, are we to watch with you? What do you see? What do you want us to see? Is seeing enough?

Perhaps these are things the Lord would have us “watch” and to which we should respond:

Habitual sin – for which we find ways of excusing ourselves instead of repenting and changing our hearts and ways – pride, anger, greed, lust, spiritual laziness, gluttony and envy. 

Identifying the ramifications of sin both personally and socially: How does my habitual sin affect me, my family, its victims and our community and nation? 

Who are the people that turn me off, get me angry or bore me to death? Why do they affect me that way? What in me permits me to react in this way? 

You search for truth, for light. You look longingly on persons whose lives exude joy and peace. Does your “longing” become a barrier because the source of their joy seems narrow, a bit dark and misty? If they have found peace and joy by going through the narrow passageway, through the dark and mist, why are you so afraid? Is it the probability of rocky barriers in the future? 

What is it you do not want to give up? What are you willing to sacrifice, and must sacrifice, for a life of great peace and joy?

 Sometimes we read Scripture rather than prayerfully reflect on what God is saying to us in that particular moment. If we really believe that God loves us, that Jesus is indeed the Way, Truth and Life, we cannot and will not lose hope. We can’t lose, period. Please take the Lord at his word:

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light (Mt 12:28-30).

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