Reverting human logic.

What do you see? If you are seeing a half empty glass, you are right. If you are seeing a glass half full of water, you are right as well. There are two ways of looking at reality. It depends on your psychological disposition. If you have a tendency of being negative and pessimistic, then you will see what is missing, what is lacking. On the other hand, if you have a tendency of being positive and optimistic, then you will rather see what is there, what you have and can possess.

Reality is reality. It is the same for everybody. Seeing differently does not change reality, it reveals different dispositions, different attitudes, different characters if you like. Seeing differently does not change reality, but can we say that it does not make any difference whether one is pessimistic or optimistic, or whether one is positive or negative? No, we cannot say that. We can notice the difference, because we are surrounded by both types of people and we know from experience the atmosphere they create around them, especially when they are confronted with a difficulty, or a problem. The pessimistic always finds a problem in every circumstance, even if it is something great and beautiful. Whilst the optimistic always finds a challenge and opportunity in every circumstance, even if it is something terrible and bad. Man is not just an observer of reality, an active protagonist in the history of the world and humanity. Both the pessimistic and the optimistic are making history. That is where they are making such a great difference because of their fundamental disposition.

That is for our attitudes and psychological make-up. What about our experience of reality. This is not the way we look at reality, but the way we experience reality, the way we experience life as human beings. Basically, from experience, all of us know that life starts by birth and ends up by death. We know from experience that whatever has a beginning eventually comes to an end. There is never enough time to enjoy life. The more you enjoy something, the faster it seems to pass. Now it is not a question of being pessimistic or optimistic. You can be the most optimistic man in the world, you know that ultimately you need to face the last moment, death. Pessimism can kill you even before, it can anticipate death, because when you give in to it, you live as if in a continuous mourning. Is it not the greatest contradiction of all history, that we are living in times such great technological and genetic, and yet in such a culture of death?! The more we feel so near to the supernatural and the divination of the human being, the more we are so terrified of death. Death haunts us so much that we cannot speak about it. Nobody wants to hear about it; so much so that many countries have succeeded to eliminate or convert every sign that reminds people of death. However, no matter how much one tries to live detached from the reality of life, every human being knows, in the depth of his heart that one day he has to face the end and death. All the enjoyment possible in the world, finally has to give way to suffering, pain, decay, and death. Our human experience tells us that death has the last word.

Thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ, what we are celebrating during this Holy Week, is the reverting of human logic. Two thousand years ago, Jesus turned our human experience upside down. By rising from the death, He made a comma of what previously was a full stop. The Resurrection and New Life became the last word. St Paul says that on the third day, death lost its stinging, death has been overcome. He who believes in the Risen Lord, lives by the logic of faith. He does not need to forget about death in order to enjoy whatever he likes, not to spoil his enjoyment. He does not need to escape from any sadness, pain, suffering and sickness, especially chronic deceases. He who believes in Jesus Christ, is a man of hope. He still hopes, even on his death bed; he can hope against hope.

If looking at a glass half full or half empty of water, can in fact make a difference in the way you live, work and on the climate you create around you, what can the vision of faith make in your life and in the life of those around you!

Fr Paul Fenech

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November 2017
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