With God’s grace, we stay afloat on the sea of life

| Father Charles Lachowitzer | October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Some say that life is like a roller coaster.

I don’t. A roller coaster is an amusement ride and the primary thrill is going down. That’s not life.

Life is more like a boat on the sea. In the sea, there are troughs and crests. What goes down will come up. What goes up will come down and back up again. The boat rolls and pitches its way through all conditions and seasons of the sea. Through it all, the boat rides atop the sea. Grace floats.

Father Charles Lachowitzer

Father Charles Lachowitzer

When Jesus calmed the seas, it was part of the unfolding truth of his divinity as the Messiah. Obviously, Jesus did not take the storms out of life. Nevertheless, he does give us the hand that leads us through them.

There is an old saying, “When you pray, do not tell God how big the storm is. When you pray, tell the storm how big your God is.”

Through human eyeglasses, we are the captains of our own ships. No longer are we all in one boat patiently waiting for Jesus to wake up and calm the waters. It seems everyone has their own boat today, and whatever “floats your boat” seems to be the maritime rule.

We have canoeists and kayakers who can go anywhere but swamp so easily. We have those in speedboats that cause big wakes that rock everyone’s boat. We have those in sailboats wetting a finger to see which way the wind is blowing.

There are boats of all kinds caught in the rip tides of popular culture. The youth cheer with delight while the parents scream for help. We have the submarines of the unseen. Sadly, we often don’t know when they are with us and we do not miss them when they
are gone.

The sailors of today often have their own routes in mind as they venture into bays of comfort, where Christmas is always on Sunday. Sailors who think their own charts of convenience always go somewhere easier. Sailors who find bays of distraction, islands of isolation and ports with nice beaches.

Then of course, there are the party barges, with their sound and light shows and new songs for Jesus. They are packed with sightseers, but these vessels are not built to go out to sea; they just tour the harbor.

But through the eyeglasses of faith, as the Mystical Body of Christ, we are all in the same boat. On this boat, there are no passengers, only the crew. The symbol of the Church as a boat reminds us that we are all in the same sea.

I love an icon that depicts a ship, under full sail, in which stands a bishop and a crew. In the same icon, the bishop is also outside of the boat, standing on a stormy sea and reaching out to rescue a drowning man. The icon is a depiction of St. Nicholas.

The flagship is the archdiocese. Parish boats range from multi-oared rowboats to pontoons to super tankers. These boats of faithful souls have eyes in the crow’s nest looking for drifting life rafts; to make haste to shipwrecks; to search for the lost; to, by the very hand of Jesus, save the drowning.

We invite the Holy Spirit to be the wind in our sails. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our compass and our Catholic tradition provides the most accurate charts.

Only through the telescope of faith can we see the light on the horizon that is the shore of heaven. As a flotilla of the faithful, every time we celebrate the sacraments, every time we go to Mass, we smell land.

Con la gracia de Dios, nos mantenemos a flote en el mar de la vida

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Category: Only Jesus