June 1, 2016: The Song We Sing

~by Louis Templeman

A bird does not sing because it has answers; it sings because it has a song. ~Chinese Proverb.

Thomas Merton said the root of Christian love is “the faith that one is loved. The faith that one is loved by God although unworthy.” In fact, it is the faith that one, totally aware he is unworthy, still believes he is loved.

The irony of unworthiness is that it encourages us to flee love and to hide from the encounter with God who is aware of our unworthiness. The sad state of affairs – particularly moral and spiritual – which is our life does not repel him, rather it attracts him to us.

Any parent knows, any pet owner knows, the sight of our little ones in sickness, or suffering from their own mischief, or accident or sorrow does not repel us but attracts us to come to the rescue. St. Therese of Lisieux indicated that when she was at her worst, morally, spiritually or willfully, was the time she would fly with abandon to the arms of her heavenly father.

The simple rule is, when you mess up, fess up. Take it to God; talk to a friend, a pastor, a therapist, a priest. Confession is good for the soul. Admitting our weaknesses does not injure us, it readies us. Readies us for our constant journey – our continuing conversion.

A confrontation with our own unworthiness becomes our motivation to fly to the arms of mercy. My mother raised three sons. We all messed up in one way or another. A couple of us in rather spectacular ways. Our problems motivated her to draw close and help us find a solution, or if we remained hard-headed, to at least bring comfort. How much more so is the Eternal Father’s desire to find us and help us – especially when we need him most.

Answers are often hard to find. And, even finding answers will not always give us the means or way to use them to solve our problems. However, we do not need answers to find our song. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. That is our song.


Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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