The Wheel of Fortune, January 29, 2013 Daily Reflection

Carmina Burana Wheel of Fortune from 13th Century

It is rare in our culture that anyone refers to one of their life dreams or ultimate ambitions to become a saint. However, if we believe in God should we all aspire to this goal? The majority of us would say we are not worthy and are nothing like the saints. We would be wrong. The saints were normal people, sinners like us that thought they were not worthy as well. The difference between where they traveled and where we stand could have been explained quite definitely by Robert Barron’s presentation of Untold Blessing: Three Paths to Holiness.  He gives a powerfully, knowledgeable account of how to travel the path of the saints. The first path is finding the Center.

In our modern day lives we are all over the place. We want wealth, happiness, praise, and pleasure. We are trying to live the American Dream and have it all. We get an education, we climb the ladder of success, we fill our homes with distractions and we think through this journey we will have it all. However, in most instances we realize we still have a void. So we scatter our focus from pleasure to material possessions to seeking praise. We cannot stay focused because we really have no true focus in our lives, not one true mission to live and die for.

We are on what the people from the Medieval ages refer to as the “Wheel of Fortune”, not the game show. It is a wheel depicting the circle of our lives. At the top is the person who reigns – they have acquired wealth and treasures. Next falling down the circle is a person has reigned but has fallen- those who lose their job or wealth and have nowhere to fall but down. At the bottom of the wheel is a person being crushed beneath the wheel – the person is powerless and has hit rock bottom – much like a homeless person or a drug addict that has nowhere left to fall. They have nothing left. Then to the left and climbing up the wheel is the person who has pulled himself from the rubble and begun trying to climb the ladder again – the person looking for a new start climbing to try to reign again. This wheel created and depicted thousands of years ago is the story of our lives now. In the center of the wheel is a depiction of Jesus Christ. Jesus does not ride the outside of the wheel he is in the center of it all. If we choose to find our center where Jesus Christ is then we can find peace no matter where we are on the “wheel of fortune”. We constantly ride this wheel and obsess over our presence on the wheel worried about money, security and success, filled with anxiety and fear. However, if we realize that the wheel is constantly turning and we cannot control its outcome and we instead concentrate on Jesus Christ knowing He will be there regardless of our worldly position then we will find the peace; the void we seek to fill.

It is difficult in our lives to depend on Jesus Christ to fill the void but only He can do it. No monetary possession, no position of power, no wealth or security can give us the peace of Christ. Detachment is the key to putting Christ in the center of our lives. Many different religions believe in this idea. We must detach ourselves from the things of this world to find our calling from God and complete our mission on this earth. If we are distracted or worse obsessed with the “Wheel of Fortune” we will never find our true purpose – the will of God and the peace we have longed for since birth. We must first find our center to start our journey on the path of Holiness.

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