The Red Carpet

Life matters.  Those aha moments that keep the clock turning.  It seems that life wouldn’t be able to role without the little interventions that keep our feet moving. How would you like to explore this more deeply with me?  Grace Godcidents I like to call them.

What do you mean by that?

Grace moments to shape and form us into better people or to bless and guide us. But I suppose this doesn’t exactly make clear what I’m driving at.  Perhaps it would help if I go a step deeper. GRACE.  This, as St. Paul says, is a free gift. This is a direct intervention of something beyond ourselves to grant power and strength beyond natural capability. It is TRUTH that shines brightly to give a heightened understanding and knowledge of something.

So what does this “free gift” of direct intervention do to me?

The simple answer to this is it gives us clearer vision to see how life is.  But it is not always an easy aha.  Sometimes the truth hurts dreadfully. Life is meant to be more than the natural day to day. We were made for more. To be more means to purged, cleansed, set free. We want a perfect paradise with red carpet and all the trappings.

Wait, RED CARPET? Luxury? Some fairy godmother to grant my every wish?

It’s true. I know that I would like life handed to me at times but that isn’t how it works. Paradise exists and it will come but we have to be made worthy to become partakers in this grand place.  But this isn’t a place of materialistic pleasure and sensual lusts.  It’s deeper than that. This side of Heaven is not easy.  It’s not that we have to just work work for this attention and generous beneficence.  We already have the attention and generosity of the Unmoving Mover…the Creator. We are infinitely loved and made in His image and likeness. We were created to share in this divine life. He gives it…and desires our participation and communion.

But I’m not a god. Far from it. I fall very short. How can I be in communion with GOD?

Good question. You can’t ugly sinner on your own effort. That is where graceful merit comes in. This God loves us so much that he desires our co-operation. He desires to help us get there. On our own we fall short by a weak nature. But God desires to make us into new creatures. Intervention is granted to assist us in becoming that fit royalty. But we have a choice though.

Red carpet

Bring it on! Camera flash and limousine is exactly what I’m looking for if I have a ticket in.

Choice is a lot harder than it sounds.  When we open ourselves to the Divine Beneficiary we must be a pure vessel.  Vain delights do not bring pleasure but an aching emptiness and objectifying of people and things. They bring a small distorted and blind reality. We see then that we were created for more. It is precisely in those moments of painful clarity of our sinfulness that we have the chance to receive divine assistance and little by little become better. This existence is more than just a pleasureful experience. We are given a ticket. But how would your host feel if you showed up at an special event in junkie jeans and a shirt of rags? That is exactly what we are. We have to get ready and work out as well as receive help to be fit for the King. That means a little suffering now for glory later.

Ouch!

Yes at times ouch. I agree. Sometimes though the ouchness is a result of our own choice to take the easy way. Sometimes it is the consequence of choosing a life that is self-sheltering and focused on gain. But couldn’t we enjoy the reward MORE if we didn’t have all that clouding our vision to act? It is a pretty empty life focused on the reward only. What about the giver? He won’t give if we don’t open up and we will not become better unless we ask and try to work at being better recipients who don’t squander the richness of his love.

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Purifying the Soul

Here is to challenging that part of us that has disquietude. Here is to those crying out “Lord Help me grow from my imperfections!”

Meditation (3) taken from ‘An Introduction to the Devout Life’ by St. Francis de Sales.

Almond tree in flower in southern Spain Almond tree in flower in southern Spain

“THE flowers appear on the earth,” says the Heavenly Bridegroom, and the time for pruning and cutting is come. And what, my child, are our hearts’ flowers save our good desires? Now, so soon as these begin to appear, we need the pruning-hook to cut off all dead and superfluous works from our conscience. When the daughter of a strange land was about to espouse an Israelite, the law commanded her to put off the garment of her captivity, to pare her nails, and to shave her head;even so the soul which aims at the dignity of becoming the spouse of Christ, must put off the old man, and put on the new man, forsaking sin: moreover, it must pare and shave away every impediment which can hinder…

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The Voice

I’m here again the lonely voice. God has sent me to say “I love you and I have a plan for you.” So what is this plan you might be saying. I’m just sitting on a bench. I’ve seen pretty much all my friends go off and do amazing things and I’m stuck here dishing pizza. You know what? I’ve been there. But i have discovered something. It isn’t going off and doing amazing things. It is about doing what you have well.  It is about being who you are right where you are. No matter how dumb it may seem God has something for you. Just wait and see.  It is the experience now that gets you to your calling. Where you are now is building you for the next step.  Please hang in there and know me, your sister, is praying for you. God will soon show you the next step. But it will come in the way and the time it is meant to. Not a penny sooner.

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Pondering

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.…” (Galatians 5: 16-17)

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So much happens when we journey down the road of holiness. Some things we like others we don’t. The flesh pushes very hard to receive its own will. It is the age old struggle since Eve.  The apple was very good to the eyes and she took it. It is pretty much the same for us. Yet we don’t want to hurt God outright. For those of us who are serious about the walk in holiness the evil one has to find a way to stop progress that goes under radar.

How about distorting holy reflection? Pondering is a good thing when it is done in the spirit of joy like Mary pondering these things in her heart. But here’s the catch. Is it a mistrustful doubting of ones capacbility and Gods  power? How about an over zealousness to do the right thing? Pretty soon one’s peace of mind can be lost and we find ourselves in a place that is dark, mistrustful, and depressed. It can be so subtle almost unrecognizeable. God is present deep down and the path he directs is true. Are my thoughts true?

Being disconsolate is a sin against God’s goodness. It means either 1. God is trying to get our attention 2. As a consequence to choosing something other than God like sin.  The remedy is contrition and thanksgiving. Keep walking and frequent yourself with prayer and the assistance of loved ones to hear what it is you are telling yourself and challenge you to be better.