Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The best wine

You have kept the best wine till now... (John 2:10, from last Sunday's Gospel)

Several times I've heard older religious say to younger ones that the best is yet to come. There is a smile in their eyes as they say this, and quiet certainty in their voice. At one level this assertion can seem strange: after all, as someone ages the best - of health, physical energy, fitness, memory, eyesight and hearing - has already been and gone or else is slowly departing. But there is another, deeper, more mysterious level, which I am now beginning to understand.

This past year, in many ways, has been the hardest since the year my parents died. And yet I can truly say that in among all the pain, loss and anger, the heartache, weariness and many headaches, there has been grace and God's fidelity in abundance. I have known very surely and powerfully that God is my hundredfold, the supreme 'compensation' for anything I might not have. It may have been the worst of years, but it has also been the best, because during it I have known profound joy and grace in my vocation, known myself to be in love with being an RSCJ as much as I am in love with God.

A friend who is a missionary priest recently said I'm amazed at how I just keep falling more and more in love with my vocation as each year passes. I realised he was echoing what I had been feeling - the in love-ness and delight and the quiet amazement at it. And I wondered - maybe this is what they mean when they say the best is yet to come...

You have kept the best wine till now...

I knew supreme joy when I entered and when I made my vows - the sweet, delightful effervescence of Prosecco or even a good champagne. But now I am sipping something more robust and generous; still with an underlying sweetness, but a good deal more body and substance. And the good news is, delicious though it is, I really do believe this is by no means the best wine in God's cellar. The best is yet to come...

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