Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
23 November 2014
Do you remember the day when I “crowned” you king in my heart? I was 15; hurt, lonely, and lost. The world I thought I had known had crumbled around me, both at home and in school. I learned for the first time in my young life that there is no guarantee in life for the pillars of my life – the key relationships I had always thought were strong – had collapsed. Yet I found that as forlorn and angry as I was, I refused to give up on the belief that true love and friendship was possible. But I had learned that no human being was capable of such love. That was when I looked to You and decided (quite unilaterally!) that from that day forth, YOU and You alone will be my best friend and greatest love.
Oh our love was sweet in those early years! You gave me amazing consolations in prayer that amazed and comforted me. I remember the resolutions I made and the trashy books I threw away after one particularly powerful encounter with You in prayer. I remember how filled with courage and hope I was when I resolved to be faithful to You… to always love You. I could not read enough about my faith in those years. I longed to study Theology and dreamed of making a difference in Your Name. I wanted so much for You to be proud of me!
I remember when I was living abroad for the first time, far away from home and family, and finding to my surprise that I was content… content because of You. And that was when I told You that it no longer mattered to me if I would ever have someone in this life to know and love intimately as I had always desired. You were enough. And that was when I decided that if You had indeed planned for me to marry, I would like a spouse who loved You more than anything.
Even so, I never in my wildest dreams thought that You would answer my prayer in the way that You did. You bestowed upon me a partner whose purity of heart, strength and kindness echoes the humility and love of St. Joseph. We were overjoyed with each other, but alas, just like our first parents in Eden did, we disobeyed You. We were so overwhelmed and caught up with the gift of each other that we we took our focus off You – the Giver.
In the years of spiritual exile that I unwittingly imposed upon myself in punishment for my sins, I never stopped loving You. Yet I was tortured by the belief that I had betrayed You and have become unworthy of Your love. I never knew the depth of my woundedness or how distorted my image of You was. The innocence of Eden had been lost. How could I count myself worthy ever again to love and serve You?
Yet those years of exile were grace-filled years too! You gave me grace to keep praying, and my belief in Your existence and Goodness never wavered. It was while “in exile” that I began to realise things about myself I never knew. Through pain and sorrow, I began to seek You anew in silence and solitude. And it was then that I embarked on the most important journey of coming to know myself truly.
Then, You struck me dumb with unconditional love. You lavished Your love upon me and opened my eyes to recognise that though I had loved You all those years, I never truly knew You! You invited me to “begin again”. You wooed me anew by astounding me with Your mercy. You promised me Your Cross and a crown of thorns if I would be Your bride. I could not believe that You still found me worthy to bear Your Cross and proclaim Your Name! ME!
When I was younger, I thought I had a pretty good relationship with You. But now I know better… I have barely begun to learn to let You love me, much less learn to love You in return! (Forget about my loving others… that’s even worse!) How can I claim that You are King of my heart when there are so many competing loves still, and when I am still so full of myself? Yet I dare to claim this. I have the audacity to claim this because I know that You will make it true in spite of me.
Throughout the history of the Church, You have had quite a record of transforming cowards and hypocrites and all kinds of sinners into holy men and women whose lives thunder out Your Kingship. I know that You desire to do the same for me, if only I let You.
So I pray, Lord, that I will not stand in Your way. I pray that my commitment to belong to You will not waver in spite of the very real anxieties and fears that I still have for lack of faith. You are my King – yesterday, today, tomorrow; always and forever. May it come to pass one day that all the parts of me that I have yet to surrender to You will be conquered by Your love and mercy!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.