26 September, Saturday — God in the midst of YOLO-ness

Sep 26 – Memorial for Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs

Sts. Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers, physicians who accepted no payment. Their charity brought many to Christ. Although they were tortured during the persecutions of Diocletian, the two suffered no injury.

  • Patron Saint Index

Ecc 11:9 – 12:8
Lk 9:43-45

…remember your creator in the days of your youth…

Oh yes, You Only Live Once (YOLO). And well, you should love yourself.

I flip open my Instagram account, and I scroll through some new Instagram stories and posts that my friends have posted recently within the last 24 hours. Some of the pictures include huge feasts of delicious food at posh restaurants, and cafes that would instantly make my stomach rumble, even though I just had my dinner! Some pictures include my female friends putting on lots of makeup and looking stunningly beautiful (I presume that it is usually for a date with their boyfriends later, or for a special event that will certainly come with good food – cue the feasting photos). Some pictures show them and their boyfriends displaying affection to each other.

I admit that I do not have any boyfriend for now, but I do occasionally put on makeup for special occasions like Christmas and Chinese New Year, which I post on Instagram. And I do post pictures of good food on Instagram too.

But amidst the merry-making, I knew that my soul was not contented. Even if the whole world of 7 billion people liked and complimented me on my latest Instagram post, my soul would still be hungry. Hungry for Jesus. These pleasures of food, money and fame only feed my bodily and mental desires to fit in with my friends; but they do not feed my soul at all.

I remember living life like this for a period of time – youthful, reckless and carefree – until my parents told me that they were going to an Adoration room to spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I tagged along with them because I had some free time to spare from my hectic schedule.

And the moment I came face to face with the Blessed Sacrament, I instantly cried – my soul was yearning to be with God. The Holy Spirit touched my soul and granted me the grace of tears. Suddenly, I was full. Yes, my eyes were full of tears and my heart was full of emotions. But somewhere in me, I felt that God filled me with His presence. There was no more emptiness within me anymore. My emptiness and longing to fit in with my friends – they were gone instantly. Jesus filled me with Himself and satisfied the longing in my soul.

But I did not immediately become detached from my earthly desires after spending the precious hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament. It has been a long and arduous journey of struggle between spending time with God, and with satisfying my earthly desires. Many times I gave in to my worldly desires and cultivated ‘self-love’ for myself. But Jesus never gave up on me. He kept nudging me throughout the day to spend time with Him, and to visit the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion whenever possible. I know for sure that this struggle will always be there in me, but I now keep a more conscious effort to spend more time with our Lord, even if it is for only 10 minutes of my day for a start. And I know that it is only with His grace of strength and perseverance that I will eventually stop struggling as much. But it is still a long way to go for me.

To all the youths out there who are struggling to find happiness and meaning in life, I pray that God will guide you to spend time with Him, and that He will grant you the grace to listen to Him in the midst of the YOLO-ness in our life.

(Today’s Oxygen by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to remember to spend time with You whenever we can, and to know that our earthly pleasures can never satisfy our soul’s longing for You. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank You for being patient with us, calling us to You to spend time with You and fill our hearts and souls with Your presence. Amen.

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