“Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice and holding fast to him.” (Deut.30: 19-20)
Since the very moment of Cain’s murder of his brother Abel the struggle for life has been a constant in human history. In the long saga of the Israelite people choice for God and the ways of God was never an easy decision. There are stories upon stories of God’s chosen people looking to other gods, other cultures, other ways of thinking that for one reason or another appeared more attractive than the word and the way of the one true God. Time and time again the consequences of their choices resulted in pain, suffering, captivity, loss of identity.
Today if we take a long, unbiased look at the reality in which any one of us lives it will reveal choices that are not for life but for death. Too frequently choices are made for power, financial gain, expediency, personal self-satisfaction.
We question why after all these thousands of years of human history and the consequences of bad choices we haven’t learned. Why is it so difficult to do what is not that complicated?
Perhaps the answer is that we will not choose what we do not love. In human relationships we make choices for life for the ones we love. Caregivers make heroic sacrifices for the comfort and quality of life of the person who is in their care. Parents will go to incredible lengths to care for their children, no matter how old or young those children are. Spouses will stand with one another through unimaginable difficulties. Love empowers us to make choices that are difficult if not impossible.
Love carries the burden. When God asks us to “choose life’ God is really saying “choose me”. Love me and let me love you. Love will empower you to walk with God no matter where the journey takes you. God is asking that above everything else we desire to be in relationship, to live in such a way that we can really say in each moment, “God, I choose you. Empower my choices to reflect you.”
That is not impossible, nor is it complicated. Desiring to choose God and the ways of God gradually becomes a way of life that influences how we act, how we think, how we relate.
Take time during this season of Lent to renew your fundamental choice. If it is for God how passionate is it? Speak to your God. Ask God to fill you with the fire of love so that your choices, large or small, weighty or mundane will be reflections of a love that is stronger than death.
Sister Eileen Fucito,CP
Congregational Leader – Sisters of the Cross and Passion
Director – Our Lady Queen of Peace Retreat Center