Friday, April 10, 2009
All Signs Lead to Your Personal Legend
Yesterday I took the kids to "the magic garden" as they call it (Our Lady of the Shrine). We walked through the Stations of the Cross, and the Avenue of the Saints. The latter trail was tackled first, as the princess insisted on visiting the statue of St. Therese of Lisieux.
This morning I was dumping the pictures from my digital camera into the computer and was surprised by what I saw. Of course I understand the nature of photography, and the affect of sunlight on a picture, but I don't care about all that. LOOK AT THIS PICTURE. There is clearly a flame above St. Therese's head. I'm not sure what this means, but it gave me joy to see it. I related in an earlier post how much I benefited from reading her letters in The Story of a Soul. Maybe it means that she is a guide for me in my life.
Signs. Some people have a knack for explaining them and thereby transforming them into something very mundane. However, isn't it logical that God, and those souls living with Him, would reach us in ordinary ways? I love looking for signs.
I just finished reading The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. First of all, this is a great book. I read it in three hours. It is about a boy who follows his personal calling and discovers his Personal Legend. What does that mean? If you believe that each person has a purpose designed by God, and that finding that purpose brings one peace and happiness, then this book is for you. The boy learns to recognize signs that he is closer to finding his Personal Legend. Usually, God uses nature to send these signs.
"Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend, " Coelho writes. Seriously, that's how I feel when I write this blog. Whether I'm writing as my dog, or myself, it makes me so happy. I love writing, but I'm not completely sure if it's my "Personal Legend."
I've received signs that it might be. Case in point, about five years ago I was standing outside the rectory of my church chatting with a priest. We were speaking about his upcoming transfer to work as a hospital chaplain. In the middle of the conversation, he paused and asked,
"So, Loren, when are you going to write your book?"
I was a bit taken back by the question since it had nothing to do with our conversation and he had no idea that I secretly wished to become an author. He really hardly knew me outside of my work in parish youth ministry.
I just shrugged, so surprised that I really could not find the words to answer him. I even tried to convince myself that I had misunderstood him, since he had a very heavy accent.
"There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it's still there." (vi)
The priest saw into my soul during small talk. That was so cool. How did he do that?! So I am one of those people who believes in signs. What am I going to write? I don't know, but I'm writing every day, and that makes me happy. I needed to do this for myself.
One of the pieces of Christ's Passion that fascinates me are the moments when he falls. I thought about this yesterday as my children ran down the wooded path between the plaques.
"The secret of life...is to fall seven times and to get up eight times." (vii)
Jesus gets up. If I were him I'm telling you honestly, I would have been down for the count the first time. Jesus understood why He was here. Fueled by love for me, and you, he got up even when his body was half dead. Jesus knew his Personal Legend at a very young age. There is evidence of this in the story of his childhood, when his parents lose him, and find him teaching in the temple. What amazing strength we have when we understand why we were born. What amazing legacies we leave when we are actually right.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter or Passover. -Loren
The last picture is the princess and big brother trying to wake up the apostles. I LOVE when they do that. Children see all the signs.
Dear Internet Traveler,
Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.