Good morning, my life.
About 6 years ago I spent a very cold and difficult winter in a little Italian village called Spinetta along the Piedmont mountains, bordering France and Switzerland.
I lived there with 16 girls from all over Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and from all walks of life: from the convent to lives of prostitution on the streets. But we were all there for one purpose: to know Jesus more deeply, to give our lives away in love to those around us, and to discover the joy of living the Gospel more radically.
Every morning whoever was doing the wake-up call would run through the house at 6 am, turning on the lights and exclaiming, "Good morning, Holy Spirit!" And the rest of us would respond: "Good morning, my life!"
The first several times I heard this, I couldn't help but cry at the beauty of such words.
"Good morning, my life."
Good morning, my life... You are mine, and I am yours!
Good morning, my life... You are the Lord's precious gift to me.
Good morning to all the joy you will bring me today. And hello to whatever suffering, sorrow and pain that may come my way through you.
You are my life.
Not just made to be mine alone, but to be blessed, broken, given and shared with others. And I welcome you fully because through you--in every moment--I can discover Jesus Christ. If I dare to.
I would imagine there are many people in Paris, and perhaps throughout all of France, who don't want to open their eyes or get out of bed today. Whose hearts are broken, whose minds are terribly anxious, and who can no longer see the light.
Why do we live in such a culture of hatred, violence and death where people are killed in the name of God? I don't know that any of us can make sense of it. And we certainly cannot close our eyes to it.
But we must keep our eyes on the Author of life, the Giver of life, who has conquered death; and has given us another day to live, to love, and to run after Him... He who is Life Himself.
How will I choose to live today? For all I have is today to live with joy, to love those around me, and to search for my beautiful Savior in every moment. And how I live today might be a tiny drop in the ocean of this world, but even drops can make ripples.
I, like so many, want peace in this world. But as Mother Teresa said, "Peace begins with a smile." So I will smile at the soul in front of me, smile at the Lord above me, smile at the face in the mirror. And smile at the life He has given me.
And I might smile for the people of Paris, who though they can't see it, will hopefully feel the love and compassion we feel for them right now. Because every smile, every act of kindness, brings more light and love into the world. And while seemingly insignificant, one small act of kindness and love can counteract the darkness and hatred we are facing.
Good morning, my life.
Bon jour, ma vie