This week’s life events’ theme: We (by this “we” I mean I and many of my friends) are trained to despise weakness. We parent to follow rules out of duty rather than out of love. We live to please fellow humans while learning to despise God. And then, we are taught to avoid this truth at all costs!
Sound negative? That’s what people tell me. I am told I focus too much on my sinfulness and weakness. But, if that truly were the case, I wouldn’t call myself “High Hopes!”
You see, WE (by this “WE” I mean I and Blessed Mother) can very willingly look at the truth about myself:
· I despise weakness.
· I taught my kids to obey in order not to disappoint me, rather than because it is a way to love Christ.
· I choose not to say something to a friend about something he is doing against the Lord, to keep the friendship, while sacrificing the graces I could have received for being persecuted in the name of my Lord….or worse yet, the graces my friend could have received to know the Truth.
But, thanks to communion of life with Christ through Mary, WE follow each revelation with the prayer:
“I have only my sins,
but You love me Lord –
I know that it is a miracle that I am able to say this prayer. It took years of spiritual direction, spiritual reading, meditation, regular confession, and daily Eucharist for this slow poke to begin desiring that this prayer be my response. There is no way I could have trusted its truth without being reminded to be faithful in small things2 time, after time, after time. And, I still continue to need this same advice! But now, I am beginning to listen to the message that WE need to rejoice when I see my misery! This is a whole new way to live from how I was raised. There really is joy being immersed in the truth about my misery and how it calls upon the abyss of God's merciful love! Thank goodness Blessed Mother is not intimidated by these “deep waters.” She reminds me, I was never meant to swim alone.
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus tried especially to take advantage of various situations in order to lower herself before God. She said that she wanted “to remain a little child before God.” But according to her, to be a small child meant “to recognize our nothingness, to [await] everything from God…it is not to become discouraged over one’s faults, for children fall often, but they are too little to hurt themselves very much.”22 It is possible to imagine that, on the shore itself, St. Thérèse immediately assumed the spiritual “position of a swimmer.” She did not wait until the water became deep; she lowered herself into the shallow water of tiny failures and swam rather than wading with her feet on the bottom. That way of moving is safer and faster. Furthermore, it is unimportant how deep the water might be beneath us. Even when we are far from shore, we remain safe because we do not rely on the sense of support that the bottom gives us. When we are far from the shore, we allow the water to carry us. This happens, however, under the condition that we deeply humble ourselves and trust in the power of God’s action. (S.C. Biela, The Two Pillars, (Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2006),58)
1 S.C. Biela, In The Arms of Mary, 2nd. ed, rev. (Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005), 10.
2“Faithfulness in small things” when used in this paragraph means faithfully trying to obey my spiritual direction to remember to be grateful that I am loved as I am, with all the truth about me. It is a small thing, but can have amazing results!