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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Prayer: Direct Communication with God

Sometimes we pray, and it seems that God does not answer, but yet He hears every word before we even conceive our supplications.

I have had much on my mind and heart lately, such a heavy burden to carry! The anxiety over my job, the anxiety over my papers (first time with academic anxiety - I don't like it), and anxiety over a talk I have to give on Wednesday to the RCIA class. Nothing major, but it was just another thing on my plate. Anxiety over tomorrow's trip to the Basilica with RCIA for the Rite of Sending has also been a source of anxiety because it is a big chunk out of my day, time I need to utilize for my class. And then anxiety over the winter storm that is now pummeling us with nearly-full force, which promises to cause ever more wreckage and anxiety come Monday, for bad weather makes my job even worse and adds exponentially to our workload. And the impossible demands of my employer.

And that brings me to today; this morning, I was speaking with one of our priests and I told him that I was hoping Jesus would speak very directly to me during Adoration this afternoon, and tell me what to say on Wednesday. He of course joked about me making demands of God, and I responded that I would not do that (anymore) but that God's direct answer to me would benefit the group of people I have to speak to!

Well, this afternoon's hour-plus with Jesus was indeed fruitful. He doesn't always assist me in such a way, but today, He gave me what I needed and then some!

Firstly, he helped to direct my studies for the paper I began this morning. Things are a little clearer now and I have a better idea of what I need to do to complete that one and the others.

Then as I read, I came across the answer as to WHY I hate my job so much! It's so obvious, and we've discussed this concept at work, but I didn't realize the theology behind our discontent. And because I know there are others of you in the same boat, I will share the passage that so enlightened me this afternoon:

But capitalism too, the capitalism of the first world, is guilty of a like fault, a like denial of the dignity of man. For advanced capitalist societies have turned people away from their authentic personhood to the consumerism of "a web of false and superficial gratifications" or have organized work so as to maximize profit with no concern whether the worker, through his labor, grows or diminishes as a person, whether he is treated, and then treats himself, as an end and not as a means.

A true and just society must take the dignity of man as its basis and its goal, and must serve man instead of making man serve it or things or profit.
("On Karol Wojtyla", Peter Simpson, p. 88)

WOW! That's my company in a nutshell!

And then my talk for Wednesday; I read over the scriptures I have to discuss, and the answer was right there before my eyes. Although I had read these passages already, I wasn't able to "see" what I needed to do, but suddenly, it became clear.

I looked up at Jesus, teary-eyed, and thanked him from the bottom of my heart for the graces of just an hour at his feet, the answers to questions, the answers to prayrs, the direction he provided to help me overcome the immediate hurdles in my life.

Unfortunately, He didn't tell me WHERE to look for another job, but given the passage I read, I know better where NOT to go, and that, sometimes, is a good portion of the battle.

Please go spend time with Jesus. Bring everything with you, put it in His hands, and give Him the freedom and permission to answer according to His will. Do not make demands, but rather, be open to what He wants to say. Sometimes Jesus will answer everything, sometimes he will leave you to ponder, and sometimes He seems to be silent. But even in His silence, He is with you, He understands you and your situation even more cleary that you do, and in those moments, He asks only for your faith and your trust.


Warren said...

Well I finished that Novena prayer to St. Joseph, patron Saint of Workers. So many things in that prayer struck me, this one most applicable to your situation, certainly it hits me square on the head, it was from Day 7:

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labor and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me. Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins, and gain rich merit for heaven.

Wow, eh? Talk about trascending one's situation. From working with Wood, to co-operating with grace. That's the transition from a sense of work, to a sense of our life being all about our vocation.

A simple reading is to say "be happy where you are". No, not quite so simple, I say. Your job may plain suck, and it may not be God's will to stay there and suffer. You don't work for those people, in fact, they have nothing to teach you and no reason to command your respect.... You're there, working for God, as long as you're there. In prayer, you've asked to be transferred. I pray he'll open a way to something new for you. Meanwhile, "Teach me to Work for God". That's my aspiration for today, too.


Adoro said...

Hey, Warren,

That's not a revelation...I've already been in THAT mode for OVER TWO AND A HALF YEARS! I figured that one out, likely from the same novena said around this time a couple years ago. Maybe 3 years ago now. Not really's been an awfully long time that I've tried to see my job in that light.

And I just can't do it anymore...I've come to realize that its time to go, but without anywhere to go, then I need God's help to find that next step. This company will not help me pay for Grad school, this company has no future to offer me, and if I remain here, I will literally have a breakdown. Even before, I didn't come so close to walking off the job, consequences be damned. And I have so much more to lose now than I did then.

I honestly thing that this time, God is asking me to look around and be prepared to move...and I've already told Him I'm ready for a pay cut and whatever the consequences are of that. I'll give up the idea of Grad school, I'll sell my house, I don't care...I just need OUT!

And yeah, while I do this, I'm still trying to work for God, but unfortunately, I still have to answer to the micro-manager team leader who gets his jollies out of the capitalist system such that it is actually his entire life. He litereally can't understand that life outside of work is what motivates most people. Very sad. I prayed for him today.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Excellent post! God is always there even when He seems to be silent. Sometimes when He answers: its no. But, He knows what is best.

There IS a line between asking and demanding. I always hope I'm asking.

Your Father and my Father must be on the same God phone-line today. My Pastor spoke in his Homily tonight about how we should not test the Lord as Satan tested Him in today's readings. I think, in this case, he was equating testing with demanding. "Prove it Lord" "Prove you love me by giving me what I want"

Adoro said...

That's actually on my mind a lot; occassionally I ask for confirmation if I think I am understanding what God is asking of me, but I try to be sure I haven't crossed a line into "testing" God, or as you say, asking Him to "prove" something.

I used to make demands all the time, really not realizing what I was doing, and sure, I think I do even now, but I think my demands are more often tempered with the addedendum: "According to thy will, and PLEASE let this request be your will!"

I'm certain God laughs at me a lot.

Warren said...

I'll keep praying for you! You sound REALLY frustrated, and I can understand how bad it must be to be trapped there.


Adoro said...

Warren, thank you for your prayers. You have no idea how much I appreciate them!

God bless you!