Recently I watched a short news brief on my computer. It concerned a young woman, perhaps in her twenties, who just got her pilot license. Right from the start, it was hinted that even though she was licensed, she was still a rookie who needs more in-depth experience to be a truly accomplished pilot. Her lack of experience was displayed in what followed in this news story.
She ran into trouble. There was a malfunction in the plane, and it scared her. She became perplexed as to how to land her plane. Seemingly, the plane machinery was not cooperating in the manner she expected from her past flying experience. Confused by what was happening, she was apprehensive. So, she called down to her nearby airport and asked for assistance in landing the plane.
The airport tower technicians decided to call her flying teacher to personally guide his former student down to the ground. He came immediately and called her. Once connected, he reminded her that in times like these the best course of action is to “remember the basics,” in this case the basics of flying. Utilizing this term of returning to the basics to guide her down, along with her willingness to be guided despite her fear, she successfully landed the plane.
I personally found this teaching fascinating, simply because it seemed true for more than flying a plane. For example, let’s consider our religion. The Blessed Mother believed that everything God said to her would be fulfilled. And what might that be? Why, the birth of Her Son who would usher in a new Age. In my book, that would have to include all that Christ did and established here. For example, consider the Sacramental System. Mary believed that all this would prove effective in continuing her Son’s Presence here. His presence would continue to cleanse and heal us.
I know this to be true because I have been ordained for 34 years and that is a long time observing the effects of the Catholic Sacraments in the lives people. One cannot imagine the healing and peace that the Sacraments brings to people. And I have had the privilege to see it all.
As we have entered a new year, to be reminded of remembering the basics is a real blessing from God. Remembering the basics brought a young woman pilot to land on the ground. Doing the same can help all of us to face our own challenges too! What resources we have! All of it can be found in the Sacraments of the Church.
Peace! Fr. Walt