Friday, August 14, 2009

ob-la-di, ob-la-da

indeed, life does go on. sometimes i feel like i should post something everyday, since i have too much on my mind and in my heart today. there's not enough internet space to describe it all. no exaggerations. that's what i like too.

i've always loved chess. i remember my aunt teaching me way back when in the early '80s when i was a wee child. she taught me the basics - setting up of the board, the names of each piece, what everything did, etc. well, the etc. part is what takes a lifetime to learn. i've played on and off over the years, including a few heated months at the seminary. it helped me, and it also proved to be an obstacle.

i'm reading The Way of Perfection, by St. Teresa of Avila, in which she helps hers sisters live and move forward in the spiritual life. and, anytime i see analogies using chess, i love it! therefore, the reason for the emphasis on chess today is because of my friend Teresa. this paragraph is from a section where Teresa is introducing a new section on prayer and humility.
"I hope you do not think I have written too much about this already; for I have only been placing the board, as they say. [...] But you may be sure that anyone who cannot set out the pieces in a game of chess will never be ablt to play well, and, if he does not know how to give check, he will not be able to bring about a checkmate."
she continues on, and a warning to me,
"Now you will reprove me for talking about games, as we do not play them in this house and are forbidden to do so. That will show you what kind of mother God has given you - she even knows about vanities like this!"
ouch! not only do i know about this game, but i'm very terrible at it, and thus have practiced - somtimes much too long, to improve! anywho, she continues on, and i do enjoy the book very much. the line that struck me though was the first. it seems that for the past six years, at the seminary, i have been merely placing the board. i've studied this and that, this thought and the other, familiarized myself with multiple commentaries, etc. now what? just like in chess, i agonize over my opening move. i over analyze it. i try to see 20moves ahead, looking at all possible angles, details, etc. it's not healthy. the Lord, has given me the grace to know Him. and now, all i must do is follow. what if i move the wrong pawn or something? impossible! there are multiple opening moves in the game of chess. and the victory already belongs to Our Lord Jesus Christ, so why do i analzye each and everything i do to death?! [seems like i've reflected on this before - stop worrying already, and just play!] again, the etc. is what takes a lifetime to learn. there's no rush, so i'm taking my time trying to integrate this new reality of the priesthood.

now that i'm moved into my new parish assignment, people have begun to know me and vice versa. let us just let the board unfold as it will. God has called me to be faithful, not successful. i continue to trust in Him who has led me for all these years. if you are reading this, though, 1.d4, now it's your move.

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