Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More food for the Journey

It is very obvious as we look around us we are going through some very difficult and demanding times. They are demanding times for us in our fiscal, physical and spiritual lives. When we are forced to let go of some of the external trappings of our lives we are forced to see ourselves as we have never seen ourselves before. What is extraneous to us is or has been taken away or been removed from our lives, forcing us to face ourselves as we have never seen or faced ourselves before. This is a wonderful spiritual gift. {Go ahead and say all the nasty words you are thinking and when you are finished, take a deep breath and read on.}

What is external/extraneous - our power, property and prestige. That there can be no spirituality without reality. It is in so far as we are really real will we come to an deeper and a deepening understanding of Reality itself - God. It isn't until we come to know ourselves apart from the outside trappings that are conferred on us or we ourselves obtain. Will we ever get honest in our relationships with a God who sees beyond all the externals into who we really are, His creation. We are not what we have, we are not what we do, we are not what who people say or think we are. We have got to let lose all of the who we are not to find out who we really are in God's love. A Love we don't earn, deserve or qualify for. A love the world cannot give us, it is only when we enter the world of poverty, nakedness and abandonment will the great treasure, the pearl of great price, will be bestowed upon us. Carl Stuhmiller says; "It is only through our weeknesses and our brokeness can we have an audience with a God of faithfulness and compassion". Another great theologian, Carol Rahner has written the following:

"And now God says to us what he has already said to the world as a whole through his grace-filled birth: "I am there. I am with you. I am your life. I am the gloom of your daily routine. Why will you not hear it? I weep your tears - pour out yours to me, my child. I am your joy: Do not be afraid to be happy: for ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living that is really more suitable than the anxiety and grief of those who think they have no hope."

I am the blind alleys of all your paths, for when you no longer know how to go any farther, then you have reached me, foolish child, though you are not aware of it. I am in your anxiety; for I have shared it by suffering it. And in doing so, I wasn't even heroic according to the wisdom of the world. I am in the prison of your finiteness, for my love has made me your prisoner. When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly; I am the unsolved remainder. And I know that this remainder, which makes you so frantic, is in reality my love, that you do not understand.

I am present in your needs. I have suffered them and they are now transformed but not obliterated from my heart. . . . This reality--incomprehensible wonder of my almighty love - I have sheltered safely in the cold stable of your world. I am there. I no longer go away from this world, even if you do not see me now; . . . I am there.

I started off by reading this and over a number of years ago. It has become part of my daily reflection. Somedays, I have to remind myself of this many many times during the day. It has become for me a great source of consolation and strength for the journey. This is my wish for you all.