Christmas is just a week away. As we look around, people are rushing from one mall to another in a frantic effort to buy the perfect gift for a loved one. Even though Christmas is near, some do not seem genuinely happy. They seem to agree with Malvolio’s take on life as expressed in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: “Life is a tale, full of sound and fury, told by an idiot, signifying nothing.” As David Thoreau wrote, “Many people live lives of quiet desperation.”
Contrary to my usual practice I would like to make this column personal. I hope you can indulge me. I would like to reflect on my priestly calling as I will be celebrating my 35th ordination anniversary on December 19th. Just as in marriage, every anniversary issues a call to reflect, give thanks and get motivated.
Many years ago the atheistic existentialist philosopher, Albert Camus, as a young man of eighteen was walking down the main street of Algiers in North Africa. He and his friend came across a crowd of people gathered in a circle around a mom and her wounded little son. A truck had run over the boy and the poor mother was wailing as she was holding on to her bleeding boy. Camus watched the scene silently for a while and then moved on. After a slight pause, Camus pointed an accusing finger towards the sky and then reprovingly declared to his friend: “Look, heaven is silent!” One of the strongest objections to the belief in God has been atheists’ claim that God is too far away or too quiet in our suffering and pain.
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...