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Friday, October 16, 2009


One of the problems I find with studying Moral Theology is that it is so, so disheartening. In studying the Virtues, I realize how virtueless I truly am and how far I have to go. Yes, I am seeking holiness, but my failure become ever more clear.

This week in prayer I was pondering advice recently received in Confession, and heard that little voice of Jesus telling me quietly to stop being so overwhelmed by all of the knowledge I am gaining. What is really important, He said, is that I keep my eyes on Him. That little voice was entirely congruent with the advice received in Confession, and other advice from my Spiritual Director this week.

So I began to ponder that necessary gem; keeping my eyes on Christ. Him alone.

The Saints were experts in "living in the present moment." They sought to do God's will in all things, and how else could they have done so had they taken their eyes off of our Beloved Savior?

I realize how easy that sounds, but how hard it is to carry out. I've often awoken or renewed a promise during the day to "keep my eyes on Jesus" yet so quickly I am distracted and look away, falling from prayer, falling from tasks, all for whatever "shiny object" catches my attention. As if Jesus isn't enough, I have to go seeking other things!

And it is there I get lost. Falling away from prayer comes even before I take my eyes from Christ, I find, for without that anchor, I am set adrift to the whimsical winds of...whatever happens along.

It is disheartening to realize how often I choose sin over sanctity, but one of the important concepts in class revealed that this sense of being disheartened is a symptom of Pride. We are only dust; Jesus came because we do not have the ability to overcome our sin, so we should not be so surprised that we fall. Rather, the moment we realize we have slipped, we have to immediately look to Him to pick us up and set us back in place, there with Him.

This is not a denial of our own responsibility, but rather, a recognition of who we are and who God is, and an act of humility to know that we haven't the power to keep from sin...but God has the power to help us overcome it, if we but let him.

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of St. Theresa of Avila, who wrote the famous words:

"Nada te turbe
Solo Dios basta."

"Let nothing disturb you.
God alone is enough."



Terry Nelson said...

I know exactly how you feel - everytime I read Garrigou-Lagrange or John of the Cross.

saintos said...

I think of the words of the writer to the Hebrews when it was said about Moses, that "he looked for the reward...not being afraid of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible."

That last phrase knocks me out every time.

youKnowWho said...

Amen. Keep eyes on Jesus --> falling in love with Him!

Hidden One said...

Yesterday I went to Confession with a visiting priest who'd never heard my Confession before, after the interminably long period of 3 weeks since my previous Confession, and received precisely the message that God wanted to give me (for it was exactly what I needed) and exactly the penance that made that advice seemingly indelible.

I think that it is the words of the priest in the Confessional, the words other than those mandated by the rite, that are the most stunning proof in that sacrament that the priest is truly in persona Christi, because it is so obvious (at least to me) when I listen that it is Christ who is speaking to me. I have heard laymen actors pronounce "ego te absolvo" and "I absolve you", but I have not heard so perfect words as I have from priests whose words are as though recited from "God's notebook", if I may borrow a phrase I heard in a certain movie about St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

Dorrie said...


This post knocked the wind out of me...I'm on a similar journey as you; although, my discernment is geared toward life as a healthcare executive. I experience these same feelings of being overwhelmed and that I just cannot comprehend everything. I hear those same gentle words from the Spirit, to keep my eyes on Him.

So much of the managerial literature out there promotes multi-tasking. Except that when I get so overwhelmed in my own failures and insecurities, I have to single-task. I focus on the task at hand and really concentrate on continually giving myself over to God's Will. I keep having to ask God to show me what I'm looking for.

Just wanted to say thanks.