Thursday, July 24, 2008

Upside the Head: Part II

So everyday is a new challenge for me to continue to put God first. When I was going through my conversion of heart three years ago, I had so much zeal for the Lord. I truly felt His grace overflowing, as St. Teresa of Avila describes in her Interior Castle. She describes the Lord’s grace and peace as water welling up into a fountain of the soul. If the soul is open to the Lord, it receives a continuous wellspring of the Lord’s presence and love. Mind you, I was still an infant in my understanding of my interaction with the Lord, but how I loved His peace.

I write in the past tense because in the last two years, I have spent so much time yearning for the Lord throughout the day. I would struggle to pray and grasp for the Lord in my arrogance, striving to hold onto small drops of water while my soul’s fountain remained parched. My days were spent constantly battling to order my thoughts and heart to Christ. I reflected that I might have felt like the first Apostles after the Lord’s Ascension. They were huddled in the upper room, scared of the world outside and clinging to the strength and never failing example of Mary, their new mother. Then, when the Lord was ready, He sent the Apostles the Holy Spirit and their souls burst forth with zeal and grace. I’ve spent and probably will spend many days in that room with Our Heavenly Mother; I’m so grateful for her intercession. Like a good mother, Mary teaches me how to hold out my hands and be patient in receiving. It’s all in God’s timing. Yet, I have to continue to be patient and keep looking for the Lord.

I experienced the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene (Tuesday, July 22) with a whole new perspective, provided by the second reading from the Liturgy of the Hours (Volume III). Picture this: Peter and John had just run to the tomb on Resurrection Sunday after hearing Mary Magdalene’s message. They looked around, saw the empty tomb for themselves, and then left. Mary stayed behind. She was weeping. She was looking and longing for Him who she loved. He came to her. Isn’t that awesome! She wasn’t an Apostle or the Blessed Virgin. Jesus appeared first to a repentant sinner who loved Him and persevered in searching for Him. That’s a smack upside my head to keep hoping, looking, loving, serving, praying, suffering, repenting, and working.

Thank you, God. Thank you, holy men and women, for your wonderful example of how to love the Lord.

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