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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fall in Love Again

Last night I was ready to delete my blog.

I was ready to just walk away from the whole mess. Every so often I get fed up with the snark and vitriol of the internet world, and truth be told, I get fed up with myself as well.

But I can't delete myself, so I don't really see how deleting my blog will help anything.

It's been a tough Lent, maybe my personal worst EVER. I fall...I get up. I fall again. I get up. I fall again. It's like my legs are made of rubber. I can't get out of the dirt, but then again, all I'm looking at is dirt. Even when I get to the point that I'm ready to lift my eyes, something else happens and I am thrust once again into the throes of disaster. I quite literally haven't been able to lift my head for weeks!

I've realized some of the problem is in my prayer life;  I had intended to spend MORE time in prayer each day, but I haven't been faithful to that. In fact, I don't think I've even really tried! It seems, actually, that the closer we get to Holy Week, the less focused I am, and the worse I'm doing.

This morning though, while walking my dog, taking in the fresh air and sunshine, I addressed these problems to Our Lord. I gave him my misery and asked Him about a particular insight that came to me last night. I gave Him my lack of Hope and my absolute weariness, asking Him, "When will this end?  How can I be ready for Holy Week? How can I be ready for YOU?"

Jesus has been silent of late, letting me wallow, and for good reason. I prayed for conversion, for I realize that I am in desperate need of conversion. That is the goal of this Lenten season for us all, but I did have a special request and a special focus. Until today, I thought that I had lost focus. As it turns out, my prayer has been answered.

God is faithful.

As I see now, He was allowing me to really wrestle with my own sin, ask those deep dark questions, and finally fall, exhausted, into the mud. It is only here in this weariness that I could finally see what has been lacking. It is only by experiencing this utter blindness that I finally can recognize my spiritual desolation and from that point, be brought to conversion.

This morning, while walking, I finally heard Jesus speak, and His words were simple. "Look at Me."

Huh?

Again, the words came to me; not in a locution, but in that still, small voice from within:  "Look at Me. I'm right HERE. LOOK at Me!"

And I looked...and that's when I understood.

I've been all over the place this Lent. I've been looking elsewhere, but He was within. He called, he shouted, but I couldn't hear because I had taken my eyes away from Him.

Conversion isn't some difficult theological construct. It doesn't require knowledge or philosophical understanding or complicated definitions.

Conversion is, simply put, falling in love. It is the state of turning toward God, toward the Author of Life, and allowing oneself to be inflamed by the fire of Divine Charity.

All Jesus asks us to do in Lent is to fall in love with Him again.

All He is saying is, "Look at Me."

When we do, when we really look at Him, we can't help but fall in love.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace. 

~ St. Augustine, Confessions

23 comments:

Michael Hallman said...

I've come close to deleting my blog a few times. I actually did delete it once, now that I think about it, for a few days, but had a change of heart afterwords. Thankfully Blogger keeps it around for a while after it's deleted.

Anyway, your blog is a tremendous gift to all of us struggling through this journey. We need more people in the Church willing to write with the openness, frankness, and honesty with which you write. What's interesting is that all the while you are discerning your own vocation in life, you are already serving Christ's Church in a powerful way here and now. Certainly I pray that one day the light shines a little further ahead into your future so that you can figure out where you are being called in a more focused way, but at the same time, you are already providing quite a light for the rest of us.

And no, I'm not only commenting just because of your Augustine awesomeness at the end :-P

Adoro said...

Michael ~ LOL! Oh, if only you knew! Last month when I got my Social Ethics paper back, the professor pointed out an error in my logic and the link I made between justice and charity. I got it backwards, basically. But as he put it, even though I was wrong, I was reasoning like St. Augustine and therefore in my unintended heresy, I was "in good company"! LOL!

Incidentally if I ever do enter religious life, I want to be Sr. Augustine.

Mary333 said...

I can relate :) I have wanted to hit the delete button a few times, too. Your blog is wonderful, though. It mixes humor, honesty, trials, and the beauty of God. It's true...when we look at Him we can't help but fall in love.
The quote from St. Augustine is powerful!

shadowlands said...

I would miss you too. I delete all my posts sometimes, for paranoid type reasons usually. Then I get the itch to post again.

Joe (defend-us-in-battle.blogspot.com) said...

Ahhh, I feel like I have been on that walk before... sans dog.

The recognition of the falls, the acceptance that you haven't really tried, and finally just deciding that giving up is the best option.

When I saw you mention this option, I knew it wouldnt be the case, but in case it was I prayed. I love your posts because they remind me of conversations I have with myself on random tuesday mornings at 2am. The ones where you try to lie to yourself, but realize that is impossible, and in fact you are really just trying to fool God, and we know how well that works.

Msgr. Michael said...

Remember the injunction of the Apostle, "the Spirit cries in us Abba, Father". Prayer, in times like you are living through, consist really, in consciously, with your Will, uniting yourself with the Holy Spirit indwelling in you, this Spirit which cries "Abba" - "Daddy". We oftne forget that when we are in a state of grace, the Trinity is indwelling in us. The Father begets the Son, the Son and the Father "spire" the Holy Spirit and this goes on in us without our human knowledge. What a mystery. Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity was spellbound by this mystery... Yes, we are miserable creatures, but God calls us, again and again through this mystery as the God of Grace.

Anonymous said...

Your posts encourage many of us to continue the journey towards absolute surrender to and union with Jesus.
Thank-you and be assured of my prayer and blessing.

Fr. Joseph

Maria said...

This seems made for you, right now.

FIFTH STATION
Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrene to carry his Cross


V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew. 27:32; 16:24

As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross.
Jesus told his disciples:
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.



MEDITATION

Simon of Cyrene,
you are one of the little ones, the poor,
a nameless man from the countryside,
someone overlooked by the history books.
And yet you made history!

You wrote one of the most beautiful chapters
in the history of mankind:
you carried the cross of Another,
you lifted the cross,
and prevented it from crushing its victim.

You restored dignity to us all,
by reminding us that we become truly ourselves
only when we stop thinking only about ourselves.[1]

You remind us that Christ is waiting for us
in the street, on the landing,
in hospital, in prison,
in the outskirts of our cities.
Christ waits for us![2]

Will we recognize him?
Will we help him?
Or will we die in our selfishness?

I was saying the Rosary in the care today when it came to me: Jesus provides others to help us carry "our cross". For me, my need, is often my Cross.

Maria said...

Oh dear--you probably read this meaning I thought you self-centered. NO NO --not at all what I meant. Only that we help each other carry Christ and our crosses. I don't know if that makes sense.

Monte said...

A really BIG thank you for what you share is so very spot on, timely even. Might be something like the Holy Spirit working, perhaps?

Suburbanbanshee said...

I'm very glad you didn't delete your blog. I'm another one who needs to actually do more praying during Lent, instead of just thinking about it. I did get to my parish's Stations of the Cross last Friday, though, and it was good. I plan to go again.

Happy Lady Day, Adoro!

Sr. Lorraine said...

Hi Julie,
Don't delete your blog!

Did you get the email I sent about the angel story? I need to know by Monday if we have permission to use the story.

thanks and God bless you!

Adoro said...

Sr. Lorraine ~ I think my emails are going to your spam folder. I've responded 3 times with detailed explanation.

Denise Fath said...

It's definitely been an up-and-down kind of Lent for me too. One minute I'm pumped to go to daily Mass and the next I have to drag myself to Sunday Mass.

But as you said - you fall and get up again. That's all we can do: get up again. Sometimes we're left to struggle "alone" - and other times His hand is there to help us up, but either way we just have to keep getting back up! Will keep you in my prayers =)

Miłość said...

Adoro, your blog posts are wonderful. :) I know what you mean though - I've wanted to delete all my accounts on all the websites I go to, because I waste so much time on pointless things on the internet (I was supposed to be giving up the internet for Lent by giving up facebook - the thing I spend the most time on- but I just find myself spending just as much time online, just wasting time on other sites.

Anyway, my point is, your posts are always so insightful because I keep finding that I feel the same way as you. I definitely have failed this Lent, and I just realized today that next week is Holy Week and I am completely, utterly unprepared.

Thanks for this post. It's making me reflect on how I'm going to end Lent this year, and what I still have left to do.

Erika said...

I am a long time lurker and would be sad if you deleted your blog. I am having a similar struggle with my Lenten promises- I too intended to pray more, and have failed, and am doing worse the closer I get to Easter. You are not alone! Just hearing that someone else is going through a similar thing helps me.

Mary said...

Hi there
I just would like to tell you that I am moving my blog. I love your blog and I hope you read my blog. But it is moving to http://theeyesinwhichiseetheworld.wordpress.com/

Adoro said...

Maria ~ Oh, no, I didn't read it like that at all! No worries! And thank you for the perspective from that version of the Stations. Incidentally, which version is it? (Everyman's?)

Mary ~ I've added your new blog to my sidebar, and thanks for the update so I could!

Thank you all, for your prayers and support. I never intended for my blog to be about me, but hoped I was writing for others as well. Thanks for helping me to understand that I don't speak in a vacuum but that you are all not alone...nor am I.

It was one of those passing things and so I slept on the decision. Always, this is under evaluation, for I'm constantly trying to ascertain whether my blog is just "me" or....God. If it's just me it is not worthy of continuing. If it honestly helps others and points to Him, then it isn't mine to delete anymore.

I never want this blog to be about "me".

Iona C. said...

I'm so glad you didn't decide to delete your blog. Personally, I copy pasted three of your blog posts that God really used to speak to me and have them saved on my computer: "Gifts", "Conduit to our Souls", and "A Prayer for All to Pray". I continually look back at them and read through your archives for encouragement. It is a blessing to see how God works in your life and I am strengthened knowing that God is faithful through all of our struggles and fears.

youknowwho said...

How DARE you post my journal entry? Oh... wait ... you can't possibly have access to it... humm... (red face emoticon) ...

in other words, great post. Really am right there w/ you.

What makes me really sad is i had hopes this would be a really spiritually uplifting lent.

Fail. (me, not you)

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

I have a 'hidden' blog that has been deleted a few times. I quite like the fact that blogger now makes you wait three months before a deleted blog is really deleted. I got the hidden one back just before it disappeared. Then for several months I made it so I was the only one that could read it-;) Now it isn't quite so hidden..... but nearly..... and nobody knows where it is except me.... I quite like it like that strangely enough!!!
I think I am burbling..... time for bed in my part of the world....

Padre Steve said...

The getting up again is the important part! Keep getting up again and falling in love again! God bless you!

Maria said...

Adoro--I cannot remember now where I found it. Mea culpa.