Rajkumar was one of my close friends during college days. He was a joyful and charming youth. Kind of a â€œyo-yoâ€ in todayâ€™s fashioned words!!! He often wanted to enjoy his life. Although born in a middle class family he never felt the need to grow up in his life and help his hard toiling parents because his parents just cared and loved him so much that he never felt any pain in his life.
Days and months passed. When I reached the third year of my college life, I came to know that Raj was addicted to alcohol and girls! I recollected the days in the first year of my college life, where he used to seek my help in studies just to get the pass mark. And I remember him saying that he was the school topper for the 10th grade in his school. All those memories once made me ask him what has pulled him to get addicted to all these things? And his reply was so simple â€“ â€œFriend !!! We have only one life and we have to enjoy it to the fullest!!!â€
Years passed. Four years later and just few days ago, while browsing through my Facebook feeds I saw one of his closest friend posting Rajâ€™s photo with the tagline â€œR.I.P Rajâ€. I was really surprised. I never believed it but later I was compelled to digest the fact that Raj, a 25-year-old lad, passed away while travelling in a bus, in his sleep.
Thorns of Life
Now, what are these thorns of life? The moment we hear â€œthornsâ€, only problems of our life come into our mind. And in fact you are correct. But then I would like to classify these thorns into two, Visible and Invisible. All the problems, which we feel is a real problem, are these visible thorns and all those which we think are not really a problem as per today’s fast growing world are the invisible thorns.
Visible thorns are part of life and most of us have them a lot . And believe me, we are called to enjoy these visible thorns! Because they refine us to become as pure as gold. But invisible thorns are more serious. The life of RajÂ was ruined just because he was unable to detect these invisible thorns in his life. He thought he was enjoying his life and in reality he was ruining it.
Even today, we never think of things which are required to enter the house of the creator but we just enjoy our life by looking at the things which make us and our children comfortable. Beware of these invisible thorns because these are the most poisonous thorns that can pierce deep into our lives and destroy it completely.
Is life not to be enjoyed?
So does this mean that this life is not to enjoy ourselves? Never!!! This life is called only to enjoy and to enjoy it in its fullest with the creator. For the holy words are as follows: â€œThe thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.â€(Jn. 10:10). Most of us are really afraid about our death because we cling on just to the worldly enjoyments and relations we have here. But shift your focus and keep it straight towards Christ because the life which He gives never ends!
St. John The Apostle
Dear friends in Christ, shifting our focus to Christ in this worldly life is really tough. But the history quotes enormous number of people who focused their lives towards Christ. Here, I would like to quote a character from the Holy Bible, none other than the energetic apostle St. John. St. John was a similar youth as Rajkumar, a young lad clad with all kinds of thorns of life. But when Christ called him, he shifted his focus towards Christ, who alone can give life in abundance. His thirst for this abundant life drove him until the foot of the cross where our Lord was bearing the excruciating pains of our sins.
Imagine! What kind of feelings would have gone through the mind of St. John? The feeling of loneliness, the question that who is going to be with them when their savior is about to leave them, the urge to go to the cross and get crucified with Christ, the question that who is going to wipe away their thorns of life. And dear friends, even while going through such an agonizing pain, our Christ had only one thing to tell, pointing out to our Mother Mary, to John, â€œHere is your motherâ€ (John 19:27) . Further the word of God says â€œAnd from that hour the disciple (John) took her into his own homeâ€(John 19:27). John further lived his life until 94 years and became the only disciple who was never martyred.
Are you enjoying life in its abundance?
In this world, where people communicate with each other with just a swipe of their fingers, where people seldom think of reciting the rosary in their families but are ready to welcome their friends for a cocktail party at home, where praying has become a mere ritual and out fashioned, where helping others have turned into a prestige factor, where hearts doesn’t work but brains do , I simply have one simple question for you – Are you enjoying life in its abundance? If the answer is a big â€œNOâ€, then dear friends, in Christ God is calling us to give this life in abundance.
As St.John was thirsty to enjoy this life in abundance, we also can gear up to enjoy it, as he did. Lets gear up towards the feet of the cross with the pains of our Christ getting hammered in the Cross, with the pains that is hammering us even today at our work places and in our homes, let’s go to Christ. And looking at all our pains, he has only one thing to say to us pointing to our Mother Mary – â€œHere is your mother!!!â€. And now its our turn to take her into our homes, to take her into our hearts, to take her wherever we go. Because only through her we can reach Christ.
What can we do now?
Lets take some strong decisions in our lives today. As the famous author Robin Sharma says, â€œBe strict not to others but to yourself. And thatâ€™s the way to success!!!â€. No matter what we were till this day, lets shape up what we should be in the coming days. Just as we stick a paper, lets start sticking our hearts to Christ and the only strongest bond that makes us stick to Christ is Mother Mary.
Rosary, the strongest prayer the Catholic Church teaches us, is the most pleasing way to welcome our Mother to our homes and into our hearts. The word Rosary comes from the Latin word â€œRosariumâ€ which means the â€˜crown of rosesâ€™. And thatâ€™s why Christ took the excruciating pain of the crown of thorns to his head and gave us this crown of roses, which is easily bearable for us. So let us start to recite his beautiful crown of roses, the Holy Rosary and give all our thorns of life to our Mother who will relentlessly give it to the one who is ready and happy to bear it for us! Amen.
– – – written by Charles Sunny