One day at a time
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap
In these days I had the joy of coming across a popular country and western-style Christian song, composed by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson, One Day at a Time. This great song which has been recorded by over 200 artists, has made it to thetop charts in various places.
I wonder why? But, before answering this appropriate question, I am curious of digging a bit deeper into its inspiring lyrics.
“I’m only human I’m just a man. Help me to believe in what I could be and all that I am. Show me the stairway that I have to climb. Lord for my sake teach me to take one day at a time. One day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you. Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do. Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine. So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time. Do you remember when you walked among men. Well Jesus you know if you’re looking below it’s worse now than then.
Pushing and shoving crawding my mind. So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time.
In this incredibly stressful world we are living in, rushing from one thing to another in sheer madness, without even the slightest chance of enjoying life altogether, thesimple words of this song come to my heart as big, actual and enduring consolation. In fact, I am realizing that some phrases addressed to Jesus in this unforgettable song I need to remember them again and again. Like, for instance, the following one: “Help me to believe, show me the stairway, teach me to take one day at a time”.
When I feel the weight of stress I am immediately reminded by the Holy Spirit of that most comforting verse of Jesus, as found in John’s Gospel: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27). In his commentary on this illuminating verse the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, states: “
“[Jesus] speaks of another peace, an interior peace of the heart, of the person with himself and with God. This much is clear from what Jesus immediately adds in this passage from John: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’ This is the most fundamental peace. Without this peace, no other peace can exist. A billion drops of dirty water do not make a clean ocean and a billion troubled hearts do not make up a human race at peace.” Further on in his commentary, Father Cantalamessa makes a very important assertion: “This tells us that the peace of heart that we all desire can never be totally and stably possessed without God, outside of him. In the ‘Divine Comedy’ Dante Alighieri synthesized all of this in that verse that many consider the most beautiful in this work: ‘In his will is our peace.’
Now I realize why Jesus, Mary and the saints made and are still making such a tremendous hit in our confused world: they all lived up what we pray in the Our Father: “Thy will be done on earth as in heaven”. They were the ones who united their wills with that of the Father. Jesus’ paramount example speak volumes! He said, by his life, passion, death and resurrection: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Thus, for Jesus, what mattered was to do his Father’s will! As He said in John 4: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34).
I kindly encourage you to reflect with me the words of the song One Day at a Time. Perhaps you can also share it with your Facebook friends or Whatz up or Viber contacts.
Father, help me understand that I do not have my own will but your will who lives and acts in and through me. Help me realize that if I accept your will my mind will finally be put at peace once and for all. For, you alone, are my everlasting peace! Amen.