One of the many reflections that were being offered at the recent online Young Religious Retreat:
Zoom retreat-day four
Honestly, at one time I did not like eagles. I used to dislike them because they are so strong; they look more scary than cute. I like the gentle little birds that do not harm anyone. However, my opinion changed after I enjoyed a Bird Show in the Philippines. Strange! I noticed the Eagle… then, I started to learn about it.
Everyone probably knows how great the eagle is at leadership and parenting. However, I noted another aspect of its life that few people probably notice, “Resurrection”. An eagle can live up to 70 years if it goes through a painful experience. After it has lived for 30 to 40 years, an eagle must go through a painful time to be able to live for another 40 years; otherwise, it will lie there and wait to die. It depends on its choice. The brave eagle will pluck out its own feathers, smash its beak, and peel off its own claws so that all will grow again and it will continue to live. Many eagles cannot overcome the pain and simply lie there waiting to die. If it bravely suffers, after reviving it will become even stronger than before.
There was a time when I went through great pain; I felt uncertain about how to continue living. For a long time I searched for “life in the pain of death”. This time of darkness was so long, sometimes a month, sometimes a year, and sometimes the whole childhood. Had I just lain there waiting to revive, I would have died in that pain and been unable to escape. I had to pluck off the feathers of the hard shell that I thought was a safety coat. I had to smash the fearful inferiority that prevented me from stepping out of myself. I had to strip off the claws of the wall of defense I had built for myself.
“Resurrection” is an experience of pain and fear but also an experience of hope and future happiness.
“Resurrection” requires courage to smash the fears and so transform into a new life.
“Resurrection” requires time to accept the truth and to listen to the Lord speaking through the experiences of each day.
“Resurrection” requires a new spirit even in the face of returning to the original path “From Emmaus back to Jerusalem.”
Reflection and painting “Eagle” by Giang Pham RNDM
Our Lady of the Missions