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Fw: [magisdeocommunity] FW: A story of faith

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  • ed palma
    Dear Lord, help our unbelief and let us experience your unconditional love in one another.   Mom/ Ate ... From: marilu stamaria
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2009
      Dear Lord, help our unbelief and let us experience your unconditional love in one another.
       
      Mom/ Ate

      --- On Fri, 4/24/09, marilu stamaria <mgvstamaria@...> wrote:
      From: marilu stamaria <mgvstamaria@...>
      Subject: [magisdeocommunity] FW: A story of faith
      To: "Pang Sta. Maria" <nsstamaria@...>
      Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 7:13 PM

      Allyn Grace Margarejo-Sta. Maria

      Regional Community Acquisition and Development

      North Luzon Sales and Distribution

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      From: GT TORRES, Ma. Elenita R.
      Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 4:19 PM
      Subject: A story of faith

       



      --- On Fri, 4/24/09, GT MARGAREJO-STA. MARIA, Allyn Grace T. <atmargarejo@ globetel. com.ph> wrote:

      From: GT MARGAREJO-STA. MARIA, Allyn Grace T. <atmargarejo@ globetel. com.ph>
      Subject: FW: A story of faith
      To: "marilu stamaria" <mgvstamaria@ yahoo.com>, tanggala@yahoo. com, "Charley" <sabadgidya@yahoo. com>, njvstamaria@ yahoo.com
      Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 4:21 PM

       

       

      Subject: Fw: A story of faith




      Father John Powell, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago ,
      writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy:

      Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file
      into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith.

          That was the day I first saw Tommy.  My eyes and my mind both
      blinked.  He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches
      below his shoulders.  It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with
      hair that long.  I guess it was just coming into fashion then.  I know
      in my mind that it isn't what's on your head but what's in it that
      counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped.  I
      immediately filed Tommy under 'S' for strange... Very strange.

          Tommy turned out to be the 'atheist in residence' in my Theology
      of Faith course.  He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined
      about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God.  We
      lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I
      admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.

           When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final
      exam, he asked in a cynical tone, 'Do you think I'll ever find God?'

           I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. 'No!' I said very
      emphatically.

           'Why not,' he responded, 'I thought that was the product you were pushing.'

           I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then called
      out, 'Tommy!  I don't think you'll ever find Him, but I am absolutely
      certain that He will find you!'  He shrugged a little and left my
      class and my life.

          I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my
      clever line -- He will find you!  At least I thought it was clever

           Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was duly grateful.

           Then a sad report came.  I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer.
      Before I could search him out, he came to see me.  When he walked into
      my office, his body was very badly wasted and the long hair had all
      fallen out as a result of chemotherapy.  But his eyes were bright and
      his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe.  'Tommy, I've
      thought about you so often; I hear you are sick,' I blurted out.

           'Oh, yes, very sick.  I have cancer in both lungs.  It's a matter
      of weeks.'

          'Can you talk about it, Tom?' I asked.

          'Sure, what would you like to know?' he replied

          'What's it like to be only twenty-four and dying?

          'Well, it could be worse.

          'Like what?

          'Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being
      fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are
      the real biggies in life..

          I began to look through my mental file cabinet under 'S' where I
      had filed Tommy as strange.  (It seems as though everybody I try to
      reject by classification, God sends back into my life to educate me.)

          'But what I really came to see you about,' Tom said, 'is something
      you said to me on the last day of class.'  (He remembered!)  He
      continued, 'I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you
      said, 'No!' which surprised me   Then you said, 'But He will find
      you.'  I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was
      hardly intense at that time.

          (My clever line.  He thought about that a lot!)

          'But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me
      that it was malignant, that's when I got serious about locating God..
      And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began
      banging bloody fists against the bronze doors of heaven.  But God did
      not come out.  In fact, nothing happened.  Did you ever try anything
      for a long time with great effort and with no success?  You get
      psychologically glutted, fed up with trying.  And then you quit

          'Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more
      futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may
      not be there, I just quit.  I decided that I didn't really care about
      God, about an after life, or anything like that.  I decided to spend
      what time I had left doing something more profitable.  I thought about
      you and your class and I remembered something else you had said: 'The
      essential sadness is to go through life without loving.  But it would
      be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without
      ever telling those you loved that you had loved them.''

          'So, I began with the hardest one, my Dad..  He was reading the
      newspaper when I approached him.  'Dad.

          'Yes, what?' he asked without lowering the newspaper.

          'Dad, I would like to talk with you.'

          'Well, talk.

          'I mean . It's really important.'

          The newspaper came down three slow inches. 'What is it?'

          'Dad, I love you, I just wanted you to know that.'  Tom smiled at
      me and said it with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and
      secret joy flowing inside of him..  'The newspaper fluttered to the
      floor.  Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever
      doing before.  He cried and he hugged me.  We talked all night, even
      though he had to go to work the next morning.  It felt so good to be
      close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say
      that he loved me..'

          'It was easier with my mother and little brother.  They cried with
      me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things
      to each other.  We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so
      many years.

        'I was only sorry about one thing --- that I had waited so long.
      Here I was, just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually
      been close to.

          'Then, one day I turned around and God was there.  He didn't come
      to me when I pleaded with Him.  I guess I was like an animal trainer
      holding out a hoop, 'C'mon, jump through.  C'mon, I'll give you three
      days, three weeks.''

          'Apparently God does things in His own way and at His own hour.
      But the important thing is that He was there..  He found me!  You were
      right.  He found me even after I stopped looking for Him.'

          'Tommy,' I practically gasped, 'I think you are saying something
      very important and much more universal than you realize.  To me, at
      least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make
      Him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation
      in time of need, but rather by opening to love.  You know, the Apostle
      John said that.  He said: 'God is love, and anyone who lives in love
      is living with God and God is living in him.'  Tom, could I ask you a
      favor?  You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain.  But
      (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now.  Would you come into my
      present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told
      me?  If I told them the same thing it wouldn't be half as effective as
      if you were to tell it.

          'Oooh.. I was ready for you, but I don't know if I'm ready for your class.'

          'Tom, think about it.  If and when you are ready, give me a call.'

          In a few days Tom called, said he was ready for the class, that he
      wanted to do that for God and for me.  So we scheduled a date.

          However, he never made it.  He had another appointment, far more
      important than the one with me and my class.  Of course, his life was
      not really ended by his death, only changed.  He made the great step
      from faith into vision.  He found a life far more beautiful than the
      eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind
      of man has ever imagined..

          Before he died, we talked one last time.

          'I'm not going to make it to your class,' he said..

          'I know, Tom.'

          'Will you tell them for me?  Will you ... tell the whole world for me?'

          I will, Tom.  I'll tell them.  I'll do my best.'

          So, to all of you who have been kind enough to read this simple
      story about God's love, thank you for listening.  And to you, Tommy,
      somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven --- I told them,
      Tommy, as best I could.

         If this story means anything to you, please pass it on to a friend
      or two.  It is a true story and is not enhanced for publicity
      purposes.

          With thanks,
      Rev. John Powell,
      Professor,
      Loyola University , Chicago

       


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