Since we have a finite mind, and God is Infinite,
all of our thoughts on God are wrong”.
(A statement by Br. Cassian said with kindly humor)
“And it will always be like that, My poor little girl. The weakness of your nature causes you to fall, and it’s the humble effort you make to get up and go on, the effort to please Me that charms your beloved. And this is a joy, a joy for God. Isn’t that strange? Later on you will see. Later on you will understand.
“Believe in that ‘later on.’ ”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 2358-2361).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
I will never get it. On the Christian path I have found that when seeking a deeper understanding of the great revelation of Jesus Christ, one of the biggest obstacles I can encounter is to think I ‘have it’. That I understand the reality of God’s mercy. For when that happens I find myself starting to not only judge myself, harshly, but to also judge others in the same vein. I believe this harshness is a form of self-pity, with deep roots in pride, which is the opposite of humility, or self-knowledge.
If only I could be ‘perfect’, ‘loving’, ‘forgiving’, and ‘compassionate’ as was/is Our Lord. When I set myself up in trying to do it, I fall short more than seven times a day. I can get despondent, overwhelmed, scrupulous, and the prone to give up.
However, after 70 years of life, I am slowly coming to understand the paradox of the path, any path, that seeks, truly seeks God. I can only learn by failure, over, and over again, getting up more times than I count, and in that somewhat harsh reality, come to some peace. For it is true that the mercy of God, the love of God, is like the sun, or the rain, which falls on both the thankful and the unthankful, both on those who love God and those who do not. Love cannot be earned, yet it can be embraced and in that, God’s mercy, which is really his justice, can do its work.
St. Paul talks about the word of God being like a two edge sword that cuts down to the bone and marrow of our souls. It reveals in a seeming merciless way, all that we are, and also all that we are capable of. I am called to embrace this mercy of God’s healing fire in order to be healed, it is the only way. There is no cheap grace as Bonhoeffer would say. Yet it is free for all of that.
The more deeply I allow God’s love into my heart, the deeper the joy, as well as the suffering, that comes from self-knowledge. When I can love ourselves in Christ Jesus, when I experience His mercy, and understand what this means, and what it cost Our Lord, it is then that my hearts break, and I become ever more truly human, and slowly, through mercies grace, we allow Christ Jesus to ever more fully incarnate in me.
Prayer is not about just asking, or certainly not about manipulating God, but about seeing God’s grace, and mercy, in the most unlikely places. My failures, some serious, when I look back, through God’s mercy and love for me, only led me to seek deeper communion with such a lover of my soul. It is only a small jump to understand that God’s love is the same for all, and understanding that, changes my understanding of prayer, as well as my place in the Body of Christ Jesus, which embraces all.
So I pray for all, knowing that God sees all, and is most fully found by me in those that I would normally not love, or like, or respect, or understand. The Christian path is about bringing Christ Jesus to others through my simple living in their presence, as well as allowing Christ Jesus to minister to me through others. I can place no limits on the work of God in the world, for I have no doubt that all of my ideas are limited, shallow, and mostly wrong. This keeps me hopeful, open, and trusting in God’s love for me and for all that is without depth or height, but beyond anything I can understand even a little…….I am happy about that, for our journey is an eternal one of growing ever deeper into this mystery. No matter how deeply we dive into this Infinite Ocean of love, we will always be at the beginning, the joy will only increase for eternity.
Lord, allow me to see
Lord, help me to understand
how little I really do comprehend,
permit me to see You in those I meet,
to be gentle, compassionate,
and to speak truth in love,
and allow me to let
others speak truth to me as well—Br.MD