You and I are among the worldwide brotherhood and sisterhood of God’s prodigal children. Luke’s widely known story about the prodigal son speaks ever so clearly to countless people. One need not be a Christian, Jew, or a member of any other faith. Rather, we are members of a universal nature, a universal creation, and a universal brokenness. By the time we enter into the last third of life, we—by accident or maybe by our own due diligence— have come to discover and address our own limitations, frailties, imperfection, and mistakes. Like the ancient prodigal son you, me and every person walking this planet truly do see and recognize our mere, imperfect, and frail humanity. We do good things. We do bad things. We have talents and skills. We have so many things we cannot understand, little alone do, or at which one truly can succeed. We see the speck in the eyes of others and then humbly acknowledge the speck in our own eyes. Life can be a great teacher; more so, than even a classroom. As a prodigal child of God, you have been granted a lifetime. Your personal happiness or sense of purpose will never be found inside a liquor bottle, or through some drug, or in your accumulation of toys such as houses, farms, businesses, or any other THINGS!! No, you, as a prodigal and greatly imperfect and broken human being will ultimately come to discover true happiness, peace, and purpose within the silence of your own heart. Go there! Now! Do not hesitate. Do not put off to tomorrow what you can do today. Go in prayer and amid silence, enter more fully into prayer—the language of the human heart. Go there and amid that stillness, you will evermore fully grasp the presence of our dear Lord. Right there…inside you, within the very depths of your heart is a temple…a holy place…a quiet place…a place in which our dear beloved Lord finds rest.
We are our Creator’s prodigal sons and daughters. God has breathed life into you and all humanity. Most people are good people. Some are bad. Some people are even evil! But, there somewhere out there, right there in your own self rests the Divine. Whether you are more so good, bad, or a balanced mixture of both good and bad, seek a quiet place. In that quietude be still. In that stillness, close your eyes, say nothing, breathe slowly, and allow your won spirit to find stillness and rest. In that moment, worry not about yourself, anyone else, or anything. Leave out the problems of the world. Be still. In those holy moments our dear Lord will speak in you, to you, and ultimately through you. There amid that rest, your spiritual awareness will grow and over a lifetime will mature. Do NOT say to yourself or anyone else that you cannot do this! That kind of thought of self-discouragement can be the work of the evil one. Rather, if you really think you cannot pray, then, ask our dear Lord to bless you with the trust of a child and the wisdom of our elders.
Trust. Believe. Seek Truth. Strive to live out the Gospel by putting your faith into action. Persevere! Never give up! Do this even in those times when it just might not make sense to you. Still, believe, and go forward. You as a prodigal child of God are already a blessed imperfect sinner. Our Father will always welcome you into His company. Come home to our Father. Do this in the Holy Name of His only begotten Son, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. Then give thanks to God and be at peace.
-Father Michael Briese