I’ve grown up since then, and we’re no longer in the 90’s. The new theme has been slightly modified from “It’s a free country” to “….if it makes me happy.”
Having moved to New York City less than a year ago to pursue the love-of-my-life, I find myself so observant of every little detail around me. I can’t help but look around at the busy streets of the Big Apple and see thousands of people who are willing (and motivated!) to fight for some sort form of freedom, be it financial assistance for the poor, rights for animals, abortion laws or now the latest cause – the right to get “married.” But even after July 24th 2011, when the first gay couples in the Center-of-the-World had the right to get “married”, I still see the same miserable look on so many of their faces. I think to myself “Isn’t this what people said they wanted!?”
The truth is “…our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You” (St. Augustine)
Now, I know that sounds obvious….I mean, I’m here writing on a site for Catholics, right? But this longing for freedom resonates in the hearts of so many young people, now more than ever! A stranger in this new city, I see so many restless hearts ready to follow the newest trend, to fight for the latest cause. Countless young people, lighters in hand, waiting for the newest/biggest/brightest spark. Anything that will keep our minds off of the reality.
I can’t help but notice so many young people “plugged-in” with their Iphones and Blackberries, preventing themselves from engaging in any uncomfortable encounter with another human being. (Trust me, it’s a temptation for all of us, me included!)
So many people who can’t wait to numb themselves with the next greatest relief with whatever stimulus they can find: Television, Movies, Drugs, Alcohol, and the “greatest” of all of these pleasures – Sex.
Because we need to be free! Our souls long to escape from the problems of this world, even if it means something that will last for a few hours,minutes or even seconds. We long to loosen these chains that have us bound so tightly, the same chains that make us part of the “system” like everyone else. But we long to be unique, and the struggle against “fitting-in” is written on our hearts, for we are called to stand-out.
“Man is the only creature on earth which God willed for
itself, and he cannot fully find himself except through a
sincere gift of himself” (Gaudium et Spes 24)
God is calling each of us to shine in the darkness, providing hope for so many who have no hope in this world. It is only in giving of ourselves that we shall truly live.
As I prepare to marry my beloved wife-to-be Cristina Rivera (who you will read about in future posts), I am learning how to live out this freedom. Christ has called me to lay down my life as a sacrifice, and in this sacrifice I shall find true freedom.
Please pray for us here in this big city, for there is so much hope in what appears to be a hopeless battleground. Pray for us as we prepare to become one flesh on October 8th, 2011. You can read more on our testimony and story, our adventures and even some of my rantings about society on our blog – Catholic Café con Leche.