October 19, 2016: Circumstances

~by Louis Templeman

The work of circumstances is often a skillful tool in divine hands to keep us alert so we do not sleepwalk through life. It can be one of God’s educational tools. How long can we continue in our journey towards nothingness before he uses some tool, often circumstance to shake us, educate us? In our circumstances (job loss, arrest, loss of friends or money, divorce, car trouble, etc.), we feel his passion challenging us, “Do you see what you are doing to yourself? To others? Why do you doubt me? “

His words come to us through our deafness by the shaking of reality, of circumstances in real time. Circumstances allow us to wake up to the awareness that life has purpose and challenge us to discover the meaning of life.

Some circumstances appear as crisis. Some are only minor impositions.For example, a book is recommended to you by a friend who knows your situation and you refuse to seek it out, and then in a discount bin at a drug store you find it on sale for a dollar. Or, an inmate gets a second trial and is found innocent by virtue of new evidence. Friends take him to a restaurant to celebrate. By strange circumstance he finds at a table near him the false witness whose deceit put him in prison in the first place.

We display our values by the way we face such circumstances. Our faith, our trust in God, our inner disposition towards life, love and religion are disclosed when we are faced with the weight of these circumstances. Circumstances provide the stage on which we live our lives before others. As we go through them we either shine or we go dim. By shining we make our actions a proclamation of the mystery of Christ, that God has been made flesh in our very lives.

By our reaction to circumstances we tell the world who Christ is. By the way we face our circumstances we tell ourselves what is dear to us, what keeps us together, who we belong to. Our true affections become apparent to all who observe us by the way we face the circumstances that surprise us, delight us, annoy us or alarm us.


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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