Uncle Eddy's E-mail -- January 18
(entered heaven in 625)
Your last few notes have been gloomy, to say the least. You always tended to be a bit pessimistic, and the events of these past few weeks have aggravated that tendency, it seems. Thanks be to God! Now you have a golden opportunity! When things are going well and good moods abound, it's easy to trust in God. But the true test of our faith, the true test of our Christian metal, comes when we feel down in the dumps and circumstances are against us. Only then can we be sure that our relationship with Christ is based not on what we "get out of it," but on true, personal love for him. His love remains, even when bad moods and unpleasant vicissitudes prevail. He is always with us, even when we feel absolutely alone. In dark times like these, you have a chance to discover these deep and crucial truths in a life-changing way.
The whole situation reminds me of an anecdote about today's saint. He was one of St Columbanus's twelve companions who left Ireland to evangelize the pagan-infested European continent in the wake of the famous barbarian invasions. When the bishops of France (it wasn't really France yet back then) connived to have Columbanus banished, St Deicolus stayed on, erecting and leading a monastery near the present border of France and Switzerland. He was a model of every virtue and a lover of prayer, and the most trying hardships could never upset his sturdy peace of soul. Once while still a youth, St Columbanus asked him, "Deicolus, why are you always smiling?" He answered quite matter-of-factly, "Because no one can take God from me."
Now isn't that the truth, my sensitive young niece? I do believe it is. And I further believe that you should treasure this anecdote, letting the truth of God's constant and attentive presence in your soul sink deep into your heart and mind, so that it can be your anchor, your light, and your warmth no matter what this angry world decides to throw at you.
Your loving uncle, Eddy
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