Monday, March 13, 2006

Infinite Possibilities Are Born of Faith

As I sat down at my computer tonight I knew what I was going to post. I wanted to start at the top of my list and work my way down. I tried very hard to develop the material into something with which I could be satisfied but nothing was working. After a short evaluation of my lack of concentration and enthusiasm for this topic I decided it might be best to scrap the idea and start over again. I decided that I should use this post for something different. Oddly enough that mirrors what I want to talk about.

Sometimes, when I think of something scary, I catch myself holding my breath. I don't know why I do it. Sometimes, when things are getting really good, I start to fear the worst. I hold my breath. I think we all do. We all wait for that moment when everything reveals itself as a dream and reality sets back in. We brace ourselves for the worst even when it is absolutely unnecessary. We don't believe. We don't understand. We don't trust.

We all have our reasons excuses.

Susan, two houses down with a row of perfect tulips in her garden, will lie in bed, staring at the ceiling through the darkness tonight, thinking about the job she didn't get. John, four blocks up the road with the red brick house on the right, will toss and turn tonight concerned about the move he just put his family through and how they will adjust. Joe, three hours away from friends and family on a business trip, will review his presentation for hours struggling to concentrate after his break-up with his girlfriend of three years.

Everyone has problems.

Mary, last house on the left with five beautiful little girls, stopped talking to God four years ago today. That won't happen to us... right? We don't think anything could really keep us from talking to God. The reason we don't think it could happen is because it probably doesn't happen too often that you just stop talking to Him cold turkey. Like most things, it is gradual. We stop listening as much and start talking more. Then we never listen and talk less. Eventually talking ceases to be a daily occurance. Sometimes we realize it and sometimes we don't. We are so overwhelmed with the things going on in our lives that we forget who and what is most important. One day we wake up and realize it's been two weeks since we had any communication with Him and then, without another thought, we go and brush our teeth and prepare for the rest of our day.

Spiritual dryness is a true struggle. We have a hard time finding the words and out of shame, avoid Him. We want to pray but we can't. We want to ask for help. We want to share our struggles. More than anything we want to share our joys. The want is there and the need is there - but the words are not. It is so easy to forget how to pray and yet it is so simple. What is wrong with us? I wondered for a long time why I struggled so much with prayer. I wondered how I could go to Mass, something I knew I enjoyed, and felt like I was just going throught he motions. I wondered how I could not be affected by the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Mostly it was selfishness and a feeling of need for independence. Now when I suffer from spiritual dryness (or what I label as spiritual dryness) I say the name of Jesus throughout the day.

"Jesus" be with me. "Jesus" protect me. "Jesus" heal me.

Recognizing and acknowledging our weakness in prayer is the first step to 'recovery'. When I recognize and acknowledge my weakness I then make a resolution to say His name whenever I think about it. I never say more than "Jesus" for two reasons: I don't feel I have the strength and most importantly, I don't have to. I've found that, especially during these times, I don't have to say anything more. "Jesus." He knows what is on my heart and how badly I yearn for His face. I want so deeply to hear Him and to be open to prayer. Saying His name, I am praying the most intimate prayer I can form. I invite Him into me and to be with me. I, from my very core, ask Him to be my sole companion and to carry me when I have forgotten how to walk. I ask for trust, forgiveness, patience, prudence, humility, obedience, and so much more.

I received an email today that really got me thinking. I've seen it a few times but never passed it on. Today I did. Not only did I get it from an unlikely person but it resounded in me in unlikely ways. I am not a fan of chain letters and emails and so I rarely take the time to read them, much less find meaning in them. Here was the part of the message that touched me... the message in the message...
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God.... Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.
How easy it is to forget. Infinite possibilities are born of faith. Pray without ceasing and have faith in His perfect plan. He alone knows what is right for us. Perhaps instead of wasting our time on worry (which will get us nowhere) we should allow ourselves room to rejoice in the many blessings which have already been given us. Let [His] presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us! St. Maria Goretti, pray for us! St. Therese, pray for us!

I never know how long my posts will get so I try to cut back to as little as possible while still making my point. Sometimes I feel my writing suffers because of this. I hope that my posts are at least somewhat fluid or else I fear all of this is in vain.


Blogger The Confessionator said...

great post! it is too easy to think "that will never happen to me," and then we get so surprised at ourselves when it does. As if we thought we were perfect and sinless.

3/15/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Daughter of St. John said...

There but for the grace of God go I....your post is an excellent reminder for Lent and beyond.

3/18/2006 01:09:00 PM  

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