When a baby is just born, he/she is almost blind. He was used to live in the darkness of the womb. Now, he has to get accustomed to so much light. At first, he cannot distinguish the shapes, or contour of what he sees. His mother will be the first person he will recognize as distinct. That will be painful! He will call his mother with loud cries and she won’t come. Panicky, he will realize that she is not just an extension of his own self, that he could not control her. But the grace of that experience is that slowly the baby will gain an awareness of himself as distinct from the mother, and as distinct from his environment. He will feel alone and he will try to bring everything, people and stuff, to himself, in a very self-centered way. We all begin with this distorted view of the world, of life, of self, and of other. We all begin as the man born blind in John 9.
Our life journey, our deepest conversion is about learning to see things aright. We need to find God in our lives if we are to put everything in the right order; we need to find God if we are to see the world, the people, ourselves as they truly are! This is the grace of conversion. This is redemption from the consequences of original sin. These consequences are: our spiritual mind has been obscured, darkened. We are in the dark; we don’t see people and life as they are. We don’t get it. We don’t grasp the meaning of it. When grace comes in, we say, “I was blind, now I see.”
When we receive that grace and RESPOND to it, our world is changed. We will find ourselves saying to our spouse, “I was wrong about you, I misunderstood you, I misinterpreted your actions and motivation.” Slowly, we will learn to see as Christ sees – to love as he loves. We will become another Christ, and we will see Christ even in our enemies, even in those we used to despise.
This conversion will transform the way we react to the socio-cultural assumptions (or prejudices) of our Canadian culture. We will see that abortion is not “normal”, that the other human being is not a competitor or a threat to us; that the only way to overcome evil is by goodness.
Yet all this moral conversion needs to be affirmed and deepened, to be rooted in Christ, in God. Christ needs to find you, amidst your busy life. It’s only when Christ finds the man who had been blind, that this man is able to see that Jesus is the ultimate foundation of his being, and of the world. The blind man bows to Jesus, acknowledging Christ as the center of his life, the center of the world. The blind man no longer lives for himself but for the Other, in whom he receives back everything. He is becoming like Jesus, totally related to the Father, and he can be another Jesus for all the others. The man who had been blind needed to be challenged and persecuted by the Pharisees, by his neighbours, by his own father and mother before he could see who Jesus truly is.
How about you? This might be necessary if you are to be able to say at last, “I was blind but now I see”
God bless you! Fr. Pierre