September 10, 2016
"For every tree is known by its own fruit." (From today's Gospel)
When St. Damien of Molokai died, he witnessed his funeral before entering heaven. He started wondering about his life before proceeding to the Father's arms: "Lord, am I worthy of going with you? Did I do what I was supposed to do? Did I fulfill your will correctly? Have I failed in anything you asked of me? Was I a good priest to you?" There was no answer from God, just the eternal time being divinely consumed by such earthly questions.
St. Damien then saw all his memories in front of him, good and bad, joyful and painful memories, every single action that always led him to Christ. Then St. Damien broke the sacred silence he often longed for: "Lord, at the end of my life, and at the start of another... I came to realize that what is really keeping me from joining you are my doubts....for better or for worse I was your priest."
This St. Damien story was shared by my spiritual director Msgr. Bochicchio, recently. This story impacted me, but I doubted it. I didn't even know who St. Damien really was till that day, or if the story was real or just based on his spirituality. My doubts kept me from grasping what Msgr. Bochicchio was trying to make me aware of. So I believe can all relate to the one thing that can keep us away from God and prevent us from being truly fruitful: DOUBTS.
Brothers and sisters, for better or for worse, you are where you are supposed to be, you have what you're supposed to have and you lack what you're supposed to lack. For better or for worse God always has a plan.
We usually try to anticipate results and operate on results in order to know how successful or fruitful we are in what we are doing for God's kingdom. But as long as we do our part for better or for worse God would take care of it. He is not asking us for results, numbers, or miles...he is asking us to be who we are called to be in Spirit and Truth and that is the best fruit we can bear and offer him.
God uses the "better" to make us truly happy, and the worse to make us change and desire that happiness.
So for better or for worse, don't let the outcome of things become you biggest doubt but the greatest step full of trust.
St. Damien of Molokai,
Pray for us.