Saturday, May 14, 2011
Remaining in Christ's Love Teaches Us
Since January 18 when the holy spiritual director enthusiastically realized and stated that nothing ought to be utilized within the Church and suggested teaching at the Cathedral, nothing seemed to have lost the foothold on the Stairway to Heaven, seemed to have dropped out of Christ's Heart, did not at all seem to be remaining in His love.
Prayed fervently as directed: Jesus, I am willing, ready and able to do whatever God wants of me for His Church, but please show me. Yet amidst the prayers and weeks, four months passed with such inner feelings of resentment, anger and at times even a kind of rage! Most of these feelings were directed at Catholics and immediately would be countered with my begging for forgiveness for the feelings and thoughts, as well as praying for those who seemed intent on persecuting and stifling. May we consider it as an inner stoning?
Daily Mass and weekly, sometimes twice-weekly, confessions seemed only to alleviate the vile surges from within, responding to various reminders of exclusion. One by one, attempts to "do" in formal or organizational venues within the Church, were blocked or plucked or posed absurd hassles. Finally, the last seeming hope of a years-long desire that could have been easily realized, met with unexpected and bizarre obstacles, each one representing a door not just closing but being bolted shut for good.
There is peace in the finality and closure of bolted doors. A bolted door leaves no room for thinking one can unbolt it, for the bolt is on the other side and in the control of others who have a place beyond that door. It is their place, their room, their world in which they are at home and at work. So?
Immediately peace returned, as well as the enthusiasm and joy, the buoyancy of the soul prior to January 18--but even more so! The soul had spent four months knocking, pushing, even mentally kicking at doors (and people) that seemed might open, but not to be. When they finally were closed and bolted, the soul, rather than despairing, was so weary of the pressure of push and preemption, that supreme liberty ensued! It was so BLESSED to KNOW that God DID NOT WANT to utilize nothing WITHIN the Church. Not in the formalized or organized ways, not through ancillary Church institutions nor within diocese employ or structured involvement.
Within a couple hours of the final slam-lock, learned of a way to enact the innate desire, skill, plus previous training, to help people outside the Church: to take this churched, Catholic soul, out into the world to help and counsel souls without going out into the world at all! No more degrees needed, no more courses taken, but much discipline, listening, prayer, worship, praising, and remaining in His love to be lived.
The first client God brought came in a phone call from someone who'd been through a life-altering surgery. She was discouraged and frustrated in learning to walk again. She wept that she would not be able to return to work.
After discussion of some practical and spiritual encouragements and idea generation, the words of St. Hesychios the Priest came to mind.
Human life extends cyclically through years, months, weeks, days and nights, hours and minutes. Through these periods we should extend our ascetic labors--our watchfulness, our prayer, our sweetness of heart, our diligent stillness--until our departure from this life.
We must remain in His Love even when it seems we are far from His Love. He is always loving us, especially when we are non-utilizable in ways we or others think we could be of use, or when we feel the most frustration in our thoughts and seem the most unlovable.
Yes, we must remain in His Love even when it seems we are far from His Love. He is always loving us, especially when we are non-utilizable in ways we or others think we could be of use, or when we feel the most frustration in our thoughts and seem the most unlovable.