Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WWJMWTLD?

As we reflect on the Transfiguration of our Divine Master (August 6), we wonder what form such a revelation would take today if Christ walked among us. How would our Lord manifest his divinity to his disciples today? What would our reaction be?

Which then leads us to ask ourselves a harder question:  As followers of Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life, how well do we reflect that divinity to others?

Blessed James Alberione preached, “In our Pauline life the only thing that we must realize – and it is not a small thing – is the life of Jesus Christ in the most perfect way possible. We do not have any specialties; we have only to love Jesus Christ as he is: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”[i]

Our configuration with the Divine Master is a life-long journey that requires continuous study, prayer, practice and action. For many of us lay Paulines, it is all too easy to lose focus on this essential aspect of our preparation for the fullness of eternal life. The demands of daily life, work, family and society can draw our attention in such a way that we lose sight of the ultimate goal: to lose ourselves in Christ and let him live in us in order to bring others to him.

Remember the WWJD? (“What Would Jesus Do?”) bracelets that sprang up on the wrists of many young people several years back, often after returning from a retreat or youth group event? These were a great little tool for encouraging teens to think in a Christian context before making decisions or acting on impulse.

We think we could use a little WWJMWTLD? (“What Would Jesus Master, Way, Truth, and Life Do?”) bracelet from time to time to help us step back from the whir of daily life and refocus all our thoughts, affections, words and actions on making our hearts more fertile ground for this configuration with Christ to flourish. In a way, we have one in the form of the brief invocation we were taught early on in our Pauline life: “Jesus Master Truth, show me what I should do; Jesus Master Way, show me how to do it; Jesus Master Life, give me the graces and courage I need to do it.” 

It only takes a moment to pray, and can have an immense impact on our thoughts, words and actions as we zig-zag through life’s demands.  We have found that this small practice helps us to calmly speak truths that should be spoken, reserve judgments that are not ours to make, and open our hearts to those who are suffering physically or spiritually. How this could transform a society, which, as we have seen in recent weeks, is so much in need of this Gospel orientation!

The more we study and practice a Way-Truth-Life approach to our spiritual development, the richer our understanding has become of this essential devotion to the Divine Master as he defined himself for us. Ours has not been a lightning-bolt type transformation, but we try to keep it moving in the right direction. Some days we might take two steps forward and three steps back, but overall we strive to move forward, hand-in-hand. And thanks to the guidance, prayers and graces we receive as Paulines – and the beautiful models of faithful lives configured in service to Christ we have all throughout our history and walking among us today – we are filled with hope and joy to be on the right path.

May we all one day exclaim along with St. Paul that “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2, 20).

[i] From Meditation 82, preached by Fr. Alberione in the General Archives collection of the Daughters of St. Paul, as cited on p. 191 in KAITHOLIL, GEORGE, Spirituality of Blessed Alberione, Saint of the Media, Bombay, 2009.
 

Jim and Luisa McMillan are members of the Holy Family Institute, which they entered in Colombia in 2000. They currently reside in Colorado with their youngest daughter, Maria, where they work as translators and interpreters. Their oldest daughter, Gabriela is married and lives in New York with her husband, Fidel, and their daughter, Emilia. Sara is currently attending graduate school in Michigan.

1 comment:

Maryann Toth said...

Excellent article that I continue to read over and over. Thank you for the invocation as well. It is a beautiful prayer to recall each day as we strive to become more like Christ.