Too Many Obstacles in Me
The call that I received thirty years ago, a call to which I did not know how to respond,
or to which I found myself unable to respond fully. There were too many obstacles in me,
too many infected wounds, still waiting for the healing that had to come through the hands
of Mary and by the precious Blood of Jesus.
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart
--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (pp. 1-2). Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.
What is the ‘call’ for Christians? Or what is the Christian vocation? We are all on a path, and many seek to respond to a call that is meant to be of service to others. The above quote from the forward of the book “In Sinu Jesu”, fits me to a tee. I have been in monastic life for almost 50 years, and to tell you the truth, I am only just beginning to understand what my call is about. I do believe that the call I have, is for everyone as well since we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and called to union with Infinite Love. We just have different ways of seeking to live out of that reality.
When I was a young monk, I knew that the one thing I had to do was to become ‘spiritually stubborn’. I needed that to get out of my own way. I felt called by God, a very strong call, to give my life as a monk, for others, both in service, as well as in prayer. It has been hit and misses, but through the grace of Christ Jesus, even though I may fall more than seven times a day, my being ‘stubborn’, has allowed me to get up and begin again. A monk (all Christians) are called to cling to God even when they are in despair……for God’s love is stronger than death, desolation, and the fury of hell.
My own inner wounds, my fear, my anger, my inability to feel certain types of emotions, my not knowing how to shed tears, my laziness, my running away from pain, have been my constant companions on my journey towards a deeper trust, and love of God. Through it all, the Lord Jesus has been faithful, never letting go of his call to me, and gently over the years, so as not to overwhelm me, has led me deeper into trust. Though my understanding is still shallow. If my heart is still hard, how can I understand the infinite love of God? Yet, I can trust, and abandon myself to this mystery of endless depth.
We are called to become loving as Christ Jesus was loving. To incarnate Christ Jesus. In other words, to become fully human. To miss that call is to reduce oneself below the level of the lowest beast, for without love, we become an infinite wasteland, or, our own private hell.
By Our Lord's infinite compassion, and mercy, it is our wounds, our failures, and our desire to begin again, is the prod that keeps us on the road to a deeper union with God.—Br.MD