Waiting

1495998119087

“As long as we are on our earthly pilgrimage, far from God, He must be the constant yearning of our souls” (Divine Intimacy 544)

 

“Please hold” I heard on the other end. And so it began, first I was fine thinking it will only last a couple of minutes. But 2 minutes became 5 which turned into 10 and at 15 minutes my patience was wearing off. I began to consider the lack of courtesy on the tellers part for keeping me on hold for so long then I turned to the conversation I had earlier that morning with a friend and the things I could have gotten done if I hadn’t spent so much time with her. The chores that I had yet to accomplish  plunged me into anxiety which led to frustration. Every passing second became a sting of wasteful time doing nothing. Finally, the teller returned to the line and completed my request. I took a deep breath so as to make room for prudence and charity and kindly ended our interaction.

Waiting; not very many of us know how to master this act. All of us have had to do it but some of us are wiser than others when it comes to filling its void. We somehow miss the invitation Jesus places before us during those moments when all is on pause and stillness settles in. We miss yearning whispers in our soul reaching out for an encounter with the Lord. Sometimes we are so immersed in the present hardships, pains or mysteries of life that we fail to see how God is working through them. We wait for him impatiently to act and miss his every step. The presence of God which permeates our very being doesn’t seem interesting enough for the passing minutes. The rosary sits on the table, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament a drive away, the bible lies on the bookshelf and we wait in silence and isolation. At times allowing these graces to go unseen or untouched.

All it takes is an inclination of the heart! Life is filled with unanswered questions, with desires yet to be filled. Waiting for God to respond can be as frustrating as waiting for a teller to complete our request. We find we do not have patience for any other agenda but our own. Divine as God is, his agenda is sometimes frowned upon specially when it creates gaps and changes in our own.

A prayerful approach prepares the heart for Jesus to enter, aiding the interior void. We can be totally at peace with the unknown and willing to wait on Jesus and his promises but what we forget sometimes is that we might be waiting for the rest of our life. The gifts God wants to give us, the promises he wants to make, might not come in this life time. He could be holding back in order to prepare us for the ultimate response. He might be putting us on hold until the day we die so that we can rise to the fulfillment of all that we could ever want and need. Eternal life is worth the wait. Meanwhile, on earth, he continues to approach us in the form of our neighbor, he reaches into the recesses of our heart during prayer allowing us to steady our inner-self in love and transform our outer-self into a vessel of charity. This is a consolation! If we love with the heart of Christ while we wait, and if our heart has become one with his then it is certain and definite that God will answer our every request. And Eternal life will be our ultimate reward.

“Prayer alone will not suffice to draw down divine graces, nor will it acquire eternal life for us. Fraternal charity, the surest pledge of the sincerity of our love for God is an absolute requisite.” (Divine Intimacy 544)

 

Communion in community

k12622590

“Do not be afraid to be holy! Have the courage and humility to present yourselves to the world determined to be holy, since full, true freedom is born from holiness. (Pope St. John Paul II). 

COMMUNITY

in it we find people, in people we find identity, in identity we find uniqueness, and in that? In that we find the reality of being a self in the midst of other selves. Authentic persons will always create ripples of difference in a community of individuals who by their nature are one of a kind. This is good, it means there is opportunity for communion because if a person only had sameness to offer there would be no room for real communion to take place.

By looking at life through this lens, it seems our Creator had a design in mind when he brought us into being. God inserted, within us, a divine potential to become; not only “the best version of ourselves” as Matthew Kelly would put it, but more than that the holiest version of ourselves. We were called to be holy, just as our Heavenly Father is holy.(1 Peter 1:15). But we were meant to fulfill this high call along side humanity; in community.

How do we accomplish the call to holiness? The simple answer is imitate Christ while remaining true to oneself (not as easy as it sounds). St. Columcile had a short and sweet way of saying it, “be always transparent and authentic in imitation of Christ”. The greater answer would be union with Christ, divine communion, our reception of Jesus entirely as he is Body, Blood Soul and Divinity. This union is our foundation for the imitation that follows.

What did Christ teach except LOVE???  He himself lived it in a perfect communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. A communion we desire to be a part of and at the same time recreate in our relationship with the world. This Trinitarian love can engage our hearts as well, this occurs in the intimacy of prayer, in solitude. It is almost a stepping into the silence of the desert as Jesus did in order to prepare our hearts and minds for the journey of holiness we will then have to undertake in the world. God moves in our lives and goes were we go assuming we are headed to where He is found.

Allowing God to move in and around us is allowing him to create ripples of love within us. Our part in this ripple is a simple consent to his promptings. As the Apostles remind us in the book of Acts: ” In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  But we sometimes question “is it possible for this love to be recreated in us?” Again, the answer to this question is found in the silence of the heart. A time of solitude and communion with the Real God before entering into the time of communion with the world; this requires the quieting of our inner self. A little bit of us and a lot of God is the perfect antidote.

A kind of newness is the result of this inner relationship with God. If the heart has become familiar with Jesus then His Spirit has become familiar and consistently active within the heart. Our communion with him then is best measured by our communion with one another. There is really no measure that can satisfy the authentic participation we have in the Trinitarian family but a glimpse into its fruits is found in our relation with others.

This is where the virtues of love are tested; in the waters of relationship. We live charity only if we have someone to live it with, charity is a selfless act meaning it can never be directed to oneself. It is an outward expression of love. This is why we will never reach holiness without community. We cannot practice virtue if we do not have a soundboard that will absorb it.

We can hate someone one day and love them the next. The gifts, talents, and virtues of a person can lead us to gratitude for their strengths but can also be the cause of envy and jealousy. Likewise the failures, imperfections, and particulars of a person can lead to growth in virtue upon every interaction with them but it can also be the cause of hate and vice. We build each other up and we tear each other down. But every interaction with another is an opportunity for growth in holiness. The growth occurs in ways we don’t prefer sometimes but overall it is set forth by God. People will push our weaknesses and test our strengths. They will engage us with lack of virtue at times but they also approach us with holiness of virtue and these become moments of growth for us. Like wise our imperfect engagement with others challenges them to a greater response of charity. Every opportunity is a chance to perfect the virtues that lead to holiness. This exchange of human efforts and failures is the key to united love and God is the source from which we gather strength to continue on our effort, until we reach that point of perfection in holiness.

Mother Teresa says: “Don’t expect your friend to be a perfect person but help your friend to become a perfect person.”

“Conversion is the matter of a moment, sanctification is the matter of a lifetime” -St. Josemaria Escriba