At the moment, The Church in Malta could be like Holy Jacob wrestling all night long with God.
What Malta is currently going through could be considered a ‘contact-sport’ with God. Real and full contact. Close and intimate contact. God simply wants to touch our minds and hearts, our will, and every fibre of our being to get us into shape. During this long dark night, the Church in Malta is constantly being challenged by God to get closer to Him. We are being invited to grow stronger and discover what it means to be a school of real disciples in the twenty first century. This is the purification that comes from beholding the face of God! Could it be that we are being schooled in reverence, authenticity, and faithfulness?
At the moment, The Church in Malta could be like Holy Jacob, who having his hip put out of joint, was invited to serve God with a limp.
A list of ‘limps’ has been rehearsed several times. We were a colony for so long, with all that implies. We endured the painful repercussions of two World Wars. The scars of Malta’s political and religious divide are still there for all to see. Clericalism has hit the Church in Malta too, as well as a profound fear and lack of empathy towards those whom we perceive to be different from us, due to race, sexual orientation, colour or creed. Serving God with a limp makes us poor, vulnerable, and weak. It also makes us strong because we learn how to rely on God’s grace and have no other option but to show mercy to ourselves. It also teaches us new ways to walk and serve. Serving God with a limp teaches us new ways of prayer and service. It shows us fresh paths of listening and being. It reminds us of the truth about ourselves and enlarges our hearts to run in the way of God’s commandments without being encumbered by too much pride.
At the moment, The Church in Malta could be like Holy Jacob in a dream, spotting angels of God going up and down a ladder to God.
For the monk and Abbot Benedict of Norcia (480 – 548) that ladder is what he calls the twelve steps of humility. The Church in Malta, having lost the numbers of practising Catholics it may have had several decades ago, is constantly being invited to climb the steps of obedience, lowliness and silence up and down the ladder of humility. As it climbs these steps it might even acquire meekness to an astonishing degree. A meek Church in Malta might shine in new and fresh ways as it too heralds a new heaven and a new earth.