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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just a few bits'n'pieces of life...

First off, mantilla twitch to Happy Catholic for the link revealing that the Top 10 of each category at the 2007 Catholic Blog awards has been posted. And I'm amazed to report that I'm number 8 in the "Most Spiritual Blog" category. Wow! Thanks for all of you who voted me that far!

Voting closes on Monday, March 17 at Noon (and I don't think that "noon" is fluid according to consecutive time zones) so vote early if you haven't voted already.

Moving on....

This week I took the Spiritual Gifts and Charisms test through the Catherine of Siena Institute. When I began taking the test, having marked a great number of "0's" (on a scale marked 0-3), well, I actually became a bit concerned. "Oh my goodness, I'm completely USELESS to God!"

But as it turned out, apparently I do have some usefulness and apparently the Holy Spirit had not actually forgotten about me...he just wanted me to remember humility first. That's OK. I can always use more humility. (Incidentally, "humility" was not tested as a gift or charism...I shudder to consider the result if it was!).

There were no real surprises, although I was a little concerned to see "mercy" ranked very low. I have not gone back to read those questions, and hope to avoid that temptation so that I can take the test again at some point and not remember anything specific. The less I can remember of the test, the more honest my answers will be the next time I take it.

Oh, and not surprisingly...the vast majority of my current job duties are actually very low when it comes to spiritual gifts. And practical gifts for that matter. More and more, I'm convinced that God has brought me into my current position for a few very simple reasons:

1. Last winter/spring, I begged God to have mercy on me and let me "start over." Done. I am "starting over", all the way back to elementary school! And middle school at the same time, and I get to experience Confirmation vicariously. None of this is coincidence.

2. God has brought me into my weakest areas, for reasons known to Him alone. Maybe because, since I am completely helpless with the vast majority of tasks I have to handle, God is MORE glorified because if something goes well, I can't claim a single bit of the credit.

3. God has a sense of humor.

I do not see myself remaining in my current position for long. It's not where I'm truly called, but for the meantime only. And I accept that. Yet it's not my future, and this frustrates me. What do any of us want, but to know where we really belong? To use all of our gifts, whether our practical everyday talents or the spiritual gifts/charisms God grants us? And when we're stuck, we can't help but feel the chafing as we strain to run to something better.

But that's what it's all about; God can't give us what He intends until we are ready to receive it. All too often, He has to spend time preparing us in some way, because even though we might not want to do something, it is a necessary skill that will be required later in order to complete the mission the Lord has assigned to us.

So far, much of this week has been about surrender to God, and in that department, I'm failing miserably. A friend of mine even observed this week what she has witnessed of me, and this friend has, between her spiritual gifts and natural aptitude, the ability to read people fairly accurately. And she completely nailed me. I could do nothing but own up to it, affirming what she saw. Because I saw it, too, although not so concisely. She didn't intend it to be so, but her assessment was brutal, and I deserved it, and NEEDED it.

Her biggest critique...I haven't surrendered to God. I'm in an almightly power struggle against the Almighty, and against myself. She doesn't know what the struggle is about, exactly, nor do I, really. But I do know that this battle has been ongoing and I will be eternally grateful for God's infinite patience.

But there's another thing that came up this week, and in this I request your prayers. I can't say too much, and I won't. But as I learned last semester in class, God does not reveal sin without revealing His Mercy. As we all know, God's Mercy covers EVERY sin, ours, and those of others. He sees everything. He knows all, and in knowing all, there is His mercy.

This week an issue at work dredged up an old memory, something that occasionally comes to mind but which I push aside, either as unimportant, "over with" or even as too uncomfortable to consider. Yet the issue at work made me face it and consider consequences not just to myself, but to others in the same situation, and how to handle it. How it SHOULD be handled. And how my own little secret memory from so long ago has in fact influenced who I am today and why my life took the course that it did.

It has revealed God's mercy to me; it has helped me understand His patience with me as I've come to see that some of my decisions in life were not necessarily mine. It is not an avoidance of culpability in willful sin, but rather, has opened my eyes to see why I need to accept His Mercy, and be more merciful to others. None of us will ever see what God sees, none of us will ever understand what God understands.

None of us will ever bleed for another as much as Jesus has bled for us, knowing full well our true hearts. Because when He bled en route to Calvary and from the cross, upon the whole world, He took our own hearts with Him, so that we could bleed in unison. He shed His own blood...but He did it in order to unite us with Him for eternity.

I need to pray about what came to my attention this week, and determine what to do with it, and when. The revelations that accompanied the memory are important for my own spiritual growth, for my own self-knowledge. So while it's a bit uncomfortable, I am grateful to God for revealing these things so that, ultimately, I can come even a bit closer to Him.

Maybe Lent isn't such a failure for me this year!


Fr. V said...

Thanks for sharing this.

And you wonder WHY you are rated highly?

Theocoid said...

Sounds like a realization I had about 13 years ago. I had an experience and didn't know in which "box" to put it. Once I discovered what to do with it, the direction my life had taken made so much more sense.

Good luck, and God bless. When you share like this, it helps me get one step closer to finishing my reversion story.

eliztrin said...

You know you're in my daily prayers, by name... and those memories come exactly when God wants them to. Yes, it's now time to deal with it. I've been there!

and I finally voted today...yes, you got a couple! But sorry to tell you that you just can't compare w/ the curt jester for humor. But spiritual... you take the cake!

looking forward to seeing the results.

adoro said...

You people make me realize WHY I keep writing!

And eliztrin - As far as I know, I wasn't listed in the humor category, so no competetion with Curt Jester! (Whew!) :-)

I haven't done a lot of humor, although my soap-opera parodies of the blogosphere were popular!