Who is better?

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“Do not yield to hatred. We are here in a dark tunnel, but we have to go on. at the end, an eternal light is shining for us.”

– Bl. Titus Brandsma

Yesterday evening, I got into a discussion about people, of how they are and whether to trust them. My friend, whom I was talking with, is leading a prayer group meeting. For me, people are people,  whether good or bad, we have our human nature, our instincts, desires and needs. God knows it and yet he gave us freedom. That was my main argument. I was telling my friend, that he should not put those who attend his prayer meeting in a box called, “holy people”. So my friend asked me whether I think that those who don’t attend the meeting is better than those who attend it? Answering the question by himself, he continued saying, “of course not. Those who attend the prayer meeting and Bible study are better people than those who do not attend. They behave better and pray better. You can trust them better.” That was the end of our discussion. I held my tongue and kept myself from answering back. I am one of those who don’t attend his prayer meeting / Bible study group. It’s not for me to judge who is better and who is not. I don’t want to be like the Pharisee who thanks God for not being like the tax-collector who is a sinner.  And yet, somehow I do feel that I’m better than my friend or thinks that I know better than him. The words of Bl. Titus made me realize that we are all in this together, this thing called life and existence. We are all in a dark tunnel, pushing, bumping, shoveling, trying our best to live and survive, and to get through our journey until the end of the tunnel into His light.

Fr. Anthony De Mello, S.J. wrote in his book entitled, “Awareness”, that most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. Spirituality means waking up.

Am I awake or am I still sleeping? There is a truth in what my friend was saying….others are better than me….but I don’t care. They have their life and businesses to attend to and I have my own. I do know that I am still struggling to be better, to grow and to learn more about this thing called life and existence. By doing so, I hope that I would be closer to God, the source of my life and existence, and to appreciate and enjoy more of this God given gift called life and just plain me.

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