I was reading today a reflection from a hermit monk that lived in 397. This actually makes me laugh even as I'm typing it. "WHY? I'm a reading something from a monk in 397? What does his life possibly have to do with mine in this 21st century??"
This is how I know that Christ is real--because writings of the heart from 1600 years ago still resonate with my experience today. This hermit was talking about how we have the same stench with us that was with Lazarus before he was raised by Jesus from the dead. These gross sins that make us ugly in the way we hurt others, attach to things that make us unhapy, or make gods out of things that are finite. We stink, basically of these festering wounds that cannot be cured on our own. We might not be paying attention to our stench all the time, but it's there and you see when things kind of fall apart!
So, am I screwed? Can I be saved? How can all my hurt, anxiety, desire to control and manipulate have any kind of purpose?
It is in front of these questions, that the deepest need of my heart screams, "NO, I'm not screwed!" There is a balm, medicine, an answer to all of these wounds--and it's a PERSON. His name is Jesus. It's NOT just positive thinking into some kind of fairy tale...He's real. And through my exposure to the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, an increase in my prayer life, and the fact that my idols are kind of crumbling before me all the time, I'm starting to see.
I have overcome (and am continuing to work in overcoming) some serious heartbreak (some done directly to me and others putting hope in false things!) But, I would never excuse this suffering for anything, because it is in this desperateness that I'm finding peace and solace in something much more real, reliable, and constant than I've ever found.
My only hope is that I can continue to fall in love with Christ who I'm seeing more and more real every day and that the attractiveness of this Presence in my life makes me attractive for the world to see.