By Kate Fraser
After reading today's Gospel, I have one reoccurring thought--I do not know when Christ will come again, but I really hope it is soon.
These last few months I have struggled greatly,
there have been many days where I barely work up the courage and motivation to step outside of my bedroom and face the day. Each morning I spend a significant amount of time getting my work done, all while feeling enclosed by a dark cloud of depression.
I was recently diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety. And it has sucked. I frequently wish for the end times to come because I don’t understand how Christ could have called me to carry this heavy cross. I am tired. I am weak. I am scared of what each day holds. I wish for my suffering to end.
I pray for life to make sense.
I plead with God to tell me why I have been given this life. I understand that I should have a sense of gratitude. I understand that I am so incredibly blessed, I get it, I really do. But there are some things in life that will just never make sense, and I can’t stand it.
I attended the funeral of one of our greatest parishioners recently. I was moved to tears at the thought that I was able to know a great man and how much he influenced our parish and community. I was surprised at my emotions, not really being one to cry at funerals, but I didn’t weep for his life lost. I wept for the things he now gets to experience while I all have to wait my turn. He no longer suffers and he no longer experiences pain. He is in eternal glory in Heaven with all the angels and saints.
He is with Mary and Joseph and Christ himself – and I am jealous.
Most woman my age day dream of their future, who they will marry, what their children will be like, where they will go in their careers. I tend to find my mind drifting off to contemplate Heaven. I cannot even fathom the greatness I may experience. I sometimes like to compare it to that joy-filled and beautiful night of June 19, 2016. If you aren’t sure what happened that day – it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The City of Cleveland nervously came together to root on our Cavaliers. And when we did win in those final moments of the game the city erupted in pure elation. I had never seen so many people dripping with enthusiasm and joy. It was truly a sight to witness. I feel God gave Cleveland a glimpse of Heaven that day. He allowed us to see what a few moments of pure joy, lacking any type of suffering, could look like. Now all I want is that joy. I want to get back to those few fleeting moments of intense, inexplicable joy and elation. But I know the only place I will be able to find that is in Heaven.
Today’s gospel really helps me to call to mind that I need to present to the present. We do not know when Christ will come, so I do need to enjoy the life that I have right now. The people in this scripture passage go about their day-to-day business and they have no idea when this flood that Noah is always talking about will come. In this world, I go about my business and get things accomplished throughout the day – never thinking it could be the end. This is a reality.
Christ could come at any moment.
He could come when we are out drinking with friends. He could show up when we are celebrating the next Cavs win. He could even show up in our moments of deep suffering, when we can’t get out of bed in the morning. My favorite thing to remember is that Christ could seriously come at any second – so what do I want to be doing if Christ were to show up right now?
Being that it is not easy to overcome these intense emotions of loneliness and despair, and that Christ could come back at any moment, I feel the need to constantly make sure I am present to my life each day. It is really difficult at times to shift through the things happening in my mind, but if Christ were to come back right at this moment as I am writing these words
I don’t want to be in the corner, or in my bed upset about the things in my life that I can’t control.
I was diagnosed with these medical conditions and the only thing that will help is taking care of myself, resting, praying and trusting that Christ is with me in these moments. It’s not necessarily easy to do this, but I know this is what I am called to. I know that Christ wants what is best for me and for me to be completely full of joy, so I am doing my best to choose that each day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate moved to Euclid, OH in 2013 when she discovered her passion of working with high school and middle school teens. When she isn't spending time falling in love with Christ, going for a run, traveling to new places, or hanging out with teens, she can be found shoving her face with copious amounts of tacos and guacamole. She also loves to spend time with her five nephews and two nieces, as well as the rest of her family.