Walking in Silence
I love the thought of God working IN me (don't we all?) accomplishing His works with the aid of my willful obedience. I get all gushy inside when I think of all that can happen with Him at my side...
oh. wait. Isn't there a warning there....something about .. oh yeah. Pride.
So then comes the part of God working ON me. It's when I get all crazy inside because I need humility and assistance to truly listen to Christ and my Guardian Angel to help me in my discernment. There are no worse ears than that of those who do not wish to hear.
So I must listen to God speaking to me. That, my friends, is the million dollar question: How well am I listening to God? Do I take His admonitions seriously? Do I truly put my will in His hands?
This weekend I've had many opportunities to work for Him in the Church. I've done well (for the most part) and made lots of trips to the the Blessed Sacrament to prayerfully listen to what I'm being told. Yet, at the first sign of strife or indifference, I become indignant and frustrated. It was perfect that a recent Gospel, was Peter asking Jesus how many times he needed to forgive (77 times in case you were wondering) and that became my mantra (77. 77. 77. 77. Mercy. 77. 77. Mercy....) in the midst of my disappointment.
At the apex of my exasperation, I promptly went home, changed my clothes and immediately went out on a walk lest I hesitate and change my mind. My two miles began with furious swinging of my arms and swift feet that slowed to frustrated walking and plea's to the Lord to show me the way which slowed to a contemplative stroll that began to clear out the haze of deception and anger which finally ended with a walk of humility.
Anything and everything that worked me into a tizzy regarding others and outside influences were the very same things that frustrate me about myself - I cannot change any one person with the exception of myself. I am a sinner. I am guilty of a great many things and I am the only one who can make a choice to follow Christ and pursue His whisper in my ear. Or even tune my ears to hear Him in the first place lest I fall back into the category of not wishing to hear and following my own will (deceiving even my own self that it was what Christ would want anyway. Oh what a tangled web we weave!).
|Chris Stephanick says it much better than I.....|
Finally, as the wind was blowing through the ever-drying leaves, the crickets chirping and frequent acorns falling from the heights above, I looked up at the sky. I knew then that His message was loud and clear and that I was truly hearing it: I am a sinner and only when I come to terms with that can He work in me. The faults I see in others mean nothing when I don't fix my own. I am the backstabbing friend. I am the liar. I am the ungrateful servant.
I looked up at the expansive, majestic cerulean sky with the snowy white clouds drifting past carrying a giant smile on my face: "I get it, Lord. I hear you".
It was then that a bird, so high above my vision that I could not tell what kind of bird it was, soared overhead. I heard an inner locution saying to me "see, my dear? This is you, you are finally beginning to understand".
I breathed a great sigh of contentment.
Immediately after that great sigh, my eye was caught by a leaf swooping down from a much shorter height, dead off the branch drifting to the ground; I again heard the locution, whispering "and see, my darling, this is you too, always needing to die to yourself. Life is but a flutter in the breeze."
I pray that I do my job well, pass along the faith to my children for generations to come as my ancestors did for me. When I get too full of myself, I can and should take a furious walk so that my head can be cleared; listening to the Lord takes great concentration and the biggest obstacle or distraction is Self. Ego.
Maybe it's a walk for me. Maybe it's a silent commute in the car for you. Maybe it's a lengthy bath. Possibly it's an evening with no Netflix, Phone, or Pandora. (well, it's definitely probably That!)
A great start is daily recitation of the Litany of Humility. Life is most definitely a journey - often one needs to pause and check the map for directions to where one is headed: Devotion or Damnation.