God is God and I am not.

God is bigger than my off-days. It is terribly simple, but it is a lesson I am learning as today goes on. This morning I got up for early – way too early – 6:30 am Mass. It’s especially early if you don’t go to bed too early the night before, which was the mistake I made last night. Needless to say, merely keeping my eyes open during Mass was a complete struggle. I. Was. So. Distracted. I kept trying to focus, and then my mind would go off again, and I increasingly got more and more frustrated. But then the Lord reminded me of something.

It’s not about me at all.

I had fallen into a simple trap. I was thinking that God is only present with me, God is only doing work in me, if I am completely focused and feeling His presence. I was only His beloved if I was not distracted at all from the readings, if I was completely loving the sacrifice of getting up early for Mass, if I was basking in His love. My pride had – without my even realizing it – manifested itself in such a way again that my spiritual life was becoming about me. But what He told me in that moment was, “Grace, look at Me. I am here. I am enough. Do not worry or fret about how little and weak you are, I love you. You are distracted and sleepy, but I see you as my little child. I delight in you, especially now.”

blog_newborn

I didn’t miraculously start to focus the rest of Mass, but I had peace in the fact that God is God and I am not. And not only that, but even in that tired and gross state, I was good to Him. A newborn baby is not less pleasing to his parents because he can’t stay awake for long periods of time, because he can’t hold a conversation with his parents, and because he can’t really do anything for them. The parents delight in this child because he is theirs, and because he is beautiful. Sometimes I feel so much like a little newborn when it comes to my relationship with the Lord… I can’t stay awake, I can’t really do much, He doesn’t need me… but He loves me, as parents love their newborn. We can be quite gross at times – like any newborn – but He is quite fond of us.

He doesn’t ask us to be perfect, He doesn’t ask us to show Him we’re worthy of peace and grace… He simply asks for our “yes.” He asks us to say with His beautiful Mother, “Be it done unto me according to Your Word.” He asks us to open our to Him. Why? Because He delights in us without conditions. Have you ever heard of a newborn baby not receiving the love their parents are giving them? It’s not a thing, they receive it all in trust that their parents have their best good in mind. God knows our best good and loves us enough to guide us to it.

The world might tell us to grow up, but don’t. Become a newborn. Receive His love, He delights in you.

Seek Not Your Vocation

surrenderA vocation is a great gift. Each and every one of our hearts have been created in a unique way to receive His love and love Him in return. But there is a huge tendency to get caught up in the vocation itself. We drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out the plan, the details, and everything else.

In the bigger picture, our vocations are preparing us for something bigger. Whether we are called to be a priest, a wife, a sister, a monk, a husband, or anything else, ultimately we are called to be saints in Heaven. We are created for happiness. We are created for God Himself. But I would like to suggest that seeking our vocation is the wrong approach.

Seek a surrendering heart.

That’s right. A surrendering heart. I know, sounds scary. Let me break it down.

Jesus wants to fulfill every desire of our hearts. The big things, the little things, and the “everything in between” things. He desires our hearts. To fulfill those desires, He has designed our hearts in a perfect way, with a perfect plan for each heart. He has a vocation for each of us and that is a great gift. Our very hearts are treasures to Him and even the sight of our hearts is a delight to Him. Through our vocation we are in our individual way able to give Him the gift of our hearts either through our spouse or directly to Him.

For my last birthday, my friend gave me a little box with a lock and key. It is a beautifully decorated blue box and you can tell it’s special as soon as you look at it. But if my friend hadn’t also given me the key to the box, it would just be pretty and stop at that. I wouldn’t be able to see inside, I wouldn’t be able to make use of the box for its original purpose, the purpose for which the carpenter made it. Similarly, we might give our hearts to the Lord, but if we don’t give Him an open heart – a surrendered heart – there’s not a whole lot He can do with it. He will always delight in us and see us as beautiful, but He wants so much more for us than that! He wants us to have life to the full!

It’s the scariest thing, but when we give Him our open heart – open with the desires, longings, ugliness, and beauty – He will fill us.

Seek not your vocation. Seek a surrendering heart – surrendering to Him – and allow Him to lay your path of love and life out in front of you.

Hold Still

sic_deus_dilexit_mundum_1Remain in Me.

This has been a theme of my spiritual life for the past month, and I think it will continue to be. I am finding that it’s not about getting this or that prayer in, but it’s continually allowing the Lord to hold my heart. And most of the time that just means He looks at me, and I look at Him. I was praying about this yesterday, and Jesus’s words to me just kept flowing. I decided to put some of those words into song, because it was too beautiful for me not to share. Please pray this song, “Hold Still” along with me.

Lyrics:


Look at Me and hold still. (x3)


Don’t go your own way anymore

All the fears that you hold in your heart

Let it all go, cling only to Me

Here you will find what you seek


Look at Me and hold still. (x3)


Dear child of Mine whom I love

Oh the delight in My Heart

The depths of My thirst, My longing for you

Open your heart to My Love


Look at Me and hold still. (x3)


I delight in you now

Look over at Me

You are Mine

I Thirst

It has been over a year since I have last posted on here, but I am officially bringing it back… It is good to be here again! :)

At the beginning of the Christmas break, I spent a week on a come and see with the Franciscan TOR sisters. During my time there, I read the book, “Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization” by Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S. (Side note: This is a really incredible book and I HIGHLY recommend it.) This quote in particular struck me as I was reflecting one day in chapel:

There is a great thirst among God’s people, but the thirst of Jesus is far greater. (Praying for Priests pg. 103)

Oh the truth and beauty of this statement! As much as we long for the love of the Lord, far greater does He long – does He thirst – for OUR love! I would like to share a reflection I had at the time while meditating on this quote:

I often think about how much I thirst for God, but look in the wrong places to satisfy it, or think about how other people are thirsting for God whether or not they realize it. But I hardly ever think about the fact that You thirst for us, Jesus, in an even greater way. You told us from the cross, “I thirst.” All the addictions and serious sins we passionately pursue – the same thirst we see in St. Mary Magdalene – much greater do You thirst and pursue our hearts. That must kill You to see us like that… and our sins did. Here You are thirsting for us and our souls, and we long for You whether or not we realize it, and we choose other things to fill us that are not You. We look to so many things to fill our void, to ease the ache of our hearts, to find relief: sin, Netflix, music, other people, activities. And You let us choose… You watch us walk away… because You thirst for our love in return. This is mind-blowing because the love that I am able to give You is minuscule, yet You thirst for it… You thirst for me. You thirst for all of me. And so You give us so many ways to come back to You, to encounter You, to recognize You, to see You: people, “coincidences”, sacraments, mercy, priests, religious, new babies, married couples, yet we are so fickle as humans and miss it all. Oh Your Heart, Lord. Oh Your Sacred Heart. Your agony at losing Your children, even for a moment… How You thirst for us, how we long for You. In Your Heart alone will we find rest.

How beautiful is the Lord’s love for each of us, His beloved children! I invite you to pray this prayer with me:

Dear Jesus, I know I have hurt You. I’ve turned from You more times than I’ve been proud of, all the while not recognizing the thirst and love in Your eyes for me. I’m sorry, Lord. If there’s any way I can console You, ease Your pain, bring any relief to Your Sacred Heart, show me. Show me the longing for my soul in Your eyes. If that means being a victim of Your mercy and receiving the mercy others reject, make me that victim. I don’t suffer well, but if it means sharing in Your suffering, then teach me how to suffer. I accept all, in order to console Your suffering Heart. I know, too, I will sin again, Lord… never cease to extend Your mercy to me. I love You, Jesus, please accept this small act of love from my heart and teach me to receive Your love. May it penetrate my very being – everything that I am. May my identity be Your love, I want to be nothing, I want everything to be Your love. Amen.