Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Struggles

[Due to the nature of this post, it has been reworked to safeguard Charity in the blogosphere.]

The thing about God is that He's incomprehensible. (I think some use the word "ineffable.") He tends to work in mysterious ways, rarely taking into consideration what our plans are or what we think we want. We pray for things and they don't "come true" as if we told someone our secret childhood wishes. Yes indeed. We do not know what God is thinking.

For me, this is not that big of a problem. Yeah, I don't like it, but it doesn't bother me as much as other things. One of those things is Who God Is. I'm not just talking about his definition or the attributes of his nature according to Thomas Aquinas. I'm talking about how we relate to him.

There are some who enviably have the grace to give the appearance of serene bliss in the presence of God. Some people can be lost in the moment in Adoration in complete and utter worship of our God. I on the other hand have not reached that point.

I try to think of Him as Lover. It is rather difficult for many complicated reasons, some rational, some not. I think of Him as Lord. I want a King to command me in battle, to guard His people and to keep His Kingdom safe here on earth. I don't want my God to be Someone erotic. For many people though, He is that, or something similar. Or He is their Friend. If I could have that grace, as St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila did, my life would definitely be better.

Do I want to shake hands with God? Not really. I want to stand at attention before Him awaiting orders. If He chooses to grant me the privilege of receiving Him in the Eucharist, it is an honor, as if my King has chosen me for a special task and has confided in me about something important.

In other words, my Love for God is a Love of Loyalty, not one of Romance. It is not one of Friendship. I do not feel the same type of friendship with God that I understand with other people. Yet of course, I also crave real human friendship and it often seems like what I have is not enough. Of course I am really desiring God. It's just hard for me to put this into practice in my interactions with Him.

This may be a problem. Let me correct that. It is a problem. I may be shutting myself off from a fuller understanding of God. However, it makes me shiver to think of sentimentalistic approaches to God, no matter how valuable they might be. I associate religious paintings using purple and pink and blue pastel colors with superficiality. I am not comfortable with St. Louis de Montfort. Actually, I am not comfortable with the 18th C. in general. This was a time of great spiritual riches and I am blocked from them by my prejudice and emotionalism.

The main problem this presents is one of judgementalism. I tend to judge people who do embrace this sentimental form of worship. My immediate response is "Seriously? You think God appreciates that? You're just doing that to make yourself feel better. You're just doing that to make yourself look pious. You're just..."

And of course that distracts me from worshiping my King.

It's funny how my objection to emotionalism, which is really strong, results in an emotionalism of another kind. Like I have said, I am prone to emotionalism which is why I am so adamantly against it. To a fault.

I don't know if I have to learn to be more sentimental or just to stop judging. Whatever the case, I'm Fed Up with my mind and heart constantly at war with each other and other forms of spirituality which either aren't mine or aren't mine yet.

It's a struggle. Wah wah.

4 comments:

Robert Gotcher said...

Do you really think St. John of the Cross is sentimental?

Nate said...

The whole "Lover" thing and the sentimental problem are not always the same thing. In his case, I just don't identify with it. He's Spanish, so that balances things out a lot. St. Teresa was big on the King idea, if I'm not mistaken and I for some reason associate it with Spanish spirituality. St. Josemaria also uses that type of knightly language.

thisjourneyofmylife said...

I'd say you are missing something. However, the beauty of a god who wants to reach out to people, is that we can all respond in our own way. We don't have a "do ut des" god, for whom we have to follow a series of strict rituals. We can come just as we are, in any which way we like.
I don't think it's a problem if you don't see God as a friend, I do however think it's a problem when you judge others who do.
And God is a lover, in the truest sense of the word.

Robert Gotcher said...

Gotcha.