If you put a group of Legionaries together and ask them to have fun, don’t worry — they know how. In early March we had a more sophisticated way of having fun when the owner of the Catamount Ski Resort in New York invited us for a free day skiing: an amazing experience!
Coming from South America, I wasn’t at all used to ski at home, but I did have the chance to do three times before on past visits to the United States. I’m definitively not skilled at it but I can at least keep myself standing on skis. This last ski trip taught me a lesson for life.
The year before I fell a lot going down on the black slopes, so this year I stepped back and kept myself on the green and blue slopes; my resolution was not to fall. At one moment I was accompanying a brother who was just learning how to go down the slopes. That brother was falling all the time, again and again, but again and again he kept getting back to his feet and trying with great determination. The day was almost over and I had succeeded on my resolution — not a single fall. So before going home I decided to try the black slop. I went and I fell…. But let me tell you; going down on the black diamond was at least three times more fun than the green and blue slopes. Then I realized how silly I had been. I didn’t have the right attitude, we just go skiing once a year and I didn’t put myself up to the challenge. I was too focused on not falling, If I had been like the brother who was falling but was standing up again and again (and at the end of the day he had definitively improved!), I would had had a much better day!
As we headed home that day I thought that on the spiritual life we need to be like that brother as well. Christ wants us to go forward. He doesn’t count how many times we fall, but how many times we stand up. We live only once on this earth and He definitively doesn’t want us to live afraid. Confidence is the virtue that pleases Him the most, St Therese of the Child Jesus would say. If we are always cautious, counting our steps, afraid of our shortcomings, we will be living too focused on ourselves instead of Christ. He is always at our side; if we fall, He will stretch his hand to us. If we get hurt He will bind our wounds. If we cannot walk, He will take us in his arms! Of course we ought to avoid and hate sin and strive to be Holy with conviction and determination. But our spiritual life is not about not falling, but about loving. It’s about letting Him love us and to love Him and our neighbors each time more and more until it’s no longer we, but Him who lives in us! If you fall just get back on your feet!