Lent 34 ~ Amare Nesciri


Amare Nesciri. Love to be unknown.   ~   St. Philip Neri


          I am close to tears. So, this is the death I sensed was coming – death of my work being known. Death of recognition of my workplace efforts. It is a death that will be very hard to take because not only have I wanted people to see Jesus through my work, I am also nourished by what I do.

          My work gives me life. My work is my life.

          And today, my Jesus tells me He will answer the first prayer – to be seen through my work – but on one condition – if like a grain of wheat, I fall to the earth and die first – by accepting the gentle invitation of amare nesciri. Not just to be unknown.

          But to love to be unknown.

          I want to weep and weep. Now I see just how much of my longing was actually centred on myself. Abuse has been so much a part of my life. Daughter of an NPD mother, I learned to accept shaming and belittling and mockery of almost everything I did. I also learned to accept theft of my efforts when my mother stole the few successes I had.

          When I grew up and left home, abuse followed me to my workplace just because I am of the minority race – and the only Christian- in this community where I work and live. People mistrusted me simply because I was a Christian, their enemy.

          But soon all that changed.

          My work efforts became the moat around me that kept the marauders at bay. No matter how much they hated the faith I professed, grudging respect of my work and my work ethics made them hesitate to wound me – although for some, even that didn’t stop them.

          More importantly, through my work too, I rebuilt the inner confidence that my mother has always taken pains to shred and tear apart over and over. My work helped me find out who I really was. It helped me to see I was not who my NPD mother had indoctrinated me to believe.

          But now, Jesus was asking me to let go of my work. Not to stop working, but to no longer depend on it in order to live. To cut the vines that clung to my heart.

          To remove the contamination of my remaining copper coins. 

          Amare nesciri. I will continue to work. The effect of my efforts will be there but my workmates and superiors will no longer see me. I will recede into the background; I will no longer matter.

For amare nesciri is the falling of the grain of wheat to earth  – in order to die – that Life may come through.

          In that way, people will finally see Jesus.