Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Angelmeg's Theology Lesson for the Week

Today children I want you to read a short reflection by Justin Torres, the brother of Jason Torres. I especially want to highlight this passage:

I have to admit, I'm still not sure what to make of everything that happened. This column is just one attempt to figure it all out. I am convinced that God was guiding the entire process to some definite end, for some ineluctable purpose. I don't know why we were handed this task, but I do think of it as task. I believe my family was given the job not simply of bringing Susan's baby into the world, but of testifying in this very public way to the preciousness of life and the importance of fighting for the most vulnerable among us.

Why us? I have no idea. It certainly would seem to prove the proposition that He writes straight with crooked lines, since the Torreses are no collection of saints but a ragtag assortment of lunatic brawlers. Peggy Noonan once described herself as a good bad Catholic, utterly believing but full of all sorts of flaws that make for interesting confessions. That's us. There's a lesson here: Be prepared, you never know what life will require of you. He comes like a thief in the night. (By contrast, 20/20 will call your cell phone six times day.)

Of course, this story isn't finally about lessons or testimony to abstract truths. It's about a mother who gave everything for her baby. That baby, my niece Susan, lies right now in an incubator, gaining strength and weight and taking in the world around her. What will her life be like? Will she fall victim to the melanoma that took her mother? Will she live a full and happy and innocent life, or will it be overshadowed by the amazing circumstances of her birth?

I don't know the answers to these questions, any more than I knew on May 7th that my family would be famous around the world. And there is a sense in which I do not care, though I of course wish the best for her. I'm just glad she is here. Because, you see, in the end, it really was all about a baby. As it always should be.

This is a really great example why self reflection is a good idea during our spiritual journey. If we don't stop and look back we miss the chance to marvel at all the grace filled moments that God places in our pathway. We miss the hand of God that weaves the tapestry that is our lives because we are so intently looking at the one broken thread with which we are personally trying to sew.

Justin Torres was given the grace to see some of those connections in what happened to his family. I hope you too will be able to see them when they happen in your family as well.


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