I stopped by Church on the way to work as I do almost every day. I had, as usual, not nearly enough time to sit in silence and peace with my Lord. With only a short time to say hello to Jesus and His Holy Family before needing to run, I wanted to make the most of every minute.
Instead of focusing on the Lord or gratitude or any virtuous thing though, I found myself thinking about what I needed to get done this day and about the call to Live Not Ordinary. I thought about what it means to Live, Not Ordinary, how I can deliver programs that help others, and what those programs might look like. I thought about pretty much everything – except our Lord.
If I begin to think of how “great” I am, times like this morning bring me crashing back to Earth. As I knelt in front of the altar I began thinking of how I didn’t deserve to be there and how disappointed the Lord would be with me. Then I went a step too far.
I recently saw an interview discussing Thomas A Kempis’s vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the vision, the Blessed Mother came down from Heaven and moved around a room embracing people and bestowing a kiss upon each. Kempis excitedly waited for her to come to him as well, but instead of an embrace she reproached him, questioning what made him think he was worthy of her kiss. She pointed out how shallow his prayers had become and how unfocused his devotion had been. She made him know she was his Queen and he could do better.
Maybe what hurt worst was that Thomas A Kempis must have known she was not arrogant, but simply correct.
I wondered if God was telling me the same thing sitting there. I began to think of how unworthy I was and how like Thomas A. Kempis I was. Then I began thinking how, not correct, but arrogant that thought was. This increased my feeling of unworthiness in a very nonproductive way. I knew the cyclical thinking could easily kick in.
Then, I someone corrected me. Sometimes I know clearly who speaks to me. Other times I do not. I do not know whether this message came straight from God or from my Guardian Angel or My Mary or maybe even Thomas A Kempis, but the message was clear and it had nothing to do with my worthiness or unworthiness. It had to do with the Lord and His worthiness.
I very clearly knew I needed to focus on the reason I came to the Church in the first place. I came to see Jesus, to sit with Him for a few minutes, to simply keep Him company. I looked at the Tabernacle. I pictured the Host being lifted up high. I focused on my Lord, my God, my Savior. Everything else disappeared and it was like I got tunnel vision. Everything else was blocked out and a feeling of peace and calm and love flowed in.
He was my reason for being there. He is my reason for being here. It is not about my worth, but about His.
We often quote the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” but we misunderstand what that means. We are not made to do all things. That is God’s job. We are made to do very few things. Our job is to find out what those things are and do them through Christ. It is not about our worthiness or all the things we have on our plates or going on in our heads and in our lives. It is about being able to focus on the Lord in the midst of all of it.
By all means go to Jesus with your problems. Talk to Him about your suffering. Tell Him what you want out of life, but never lose sight of why you are doing this or who is most important. Spend time each day, not in talking with Jesus, but simply in being with Him. Make Him, not your pain, fear, or desires the center of your attention and your pain, fear, and desires will melt away. It is simple, but not easy. Persevere!
Gratitude Journal- June 13, 2023
Thank You Lord for…
- A splash of heavy cream when I had no oat milk for my morning tea.
- The best was focusing on the Lord and having everything else wash away this morning. Thank you Lord for teaching me to Love You!!!
- Meeting H in the faculty room today.
- The MS office staff who was so nice.
- The MS nurse who was so nice.
- The conversation with K.
- S stopping by to see if I wanted to coach – maybe someday!
- C leaving early when I wanted to get home to see my boys.
- My boys coming home!
- Reading for two hours with C.
- How hard C is working to prep for his finals.
- R coming here too.
- Z calling to ask if I needed anything.