Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Friday, August 23, 2013

Entrustment to Mary = Becoming A Beggar

God loves the truth. Therefore, at a certain moment in our lives, God no longer allows our illusions of being spiritually rich to exist. He wants us to see and acknowledge that we stand before Him as beggars who have nothing of our own, and who are always in need of spiritual alms, such as the gifts of prayer, faith, hope and good will. {1}
Recently, I made a 5 hour trip to visit my daughter on a Saturday. I planned on making it to her Church’s reconciliation time of 3-4:30PM. I figured if I left at 10AM I would have plenty of time to get there. As 10AM approached I saw I was nowhere near ready to depart –as I had not finished packing nor had I painted my toe nails yet. By the time I drove out the driveway it was 11AM. I still felt like I could make it by 4PM. As I started over the mountain pass a fierce thunder and lightning storm ensued with heavy rains making it hard to see the road. I pulled off for a few minutes but realizing the storm was not going to blow over quickly, I started out again driving a slow 30-40mph. It was quite terrorizing as the lightning was continuous for a good 20 miles. I started to pray aloud the Divine Mercy Chaplet over and over again, begging God for the mercy to keep me safe and to allow me to arrive to the Church in time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I pulled into the Church parking lot at 4:15PM. I thanked God and hurried into the bathroom before getting in the confessional line, where there were 2 other girls in front of me and an older woman behind me. [My daughter told me the priest would go longer if there was a line, so I figured I was set.] Well, the person who came out of the confessional at 4:27 said confessions were now over. I couldn’t believe my ears. Then the priest came out and I looked at him and said, “I just drove 5 hours to be here!” He didn’t seem to be interested and walked away. I [my pride] was crushed. I slowly walked out to my car wanting to cry. I couldn’t understand how God would not want me to receive this Sacrament, especially when He had allowed me to arrive in time.
The alms of spiritual misery are extremely difficult for your pride to accept because your pride does not want to acknowledge that you are a spiritual beggar. Pride wants to continuously prove something to God. Pride wants to give Him a bill and receive payment, rather than alms, in return.{2}

In reflecting on this experience I realized I indeed felt spiritually rich in making my plans to go to Confession that day. I can remember a feeling of spiritual superiority, thinking how special I was to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation my priority, assuming God would be so pleased that He of course would “pay” me by allowing my plans to materialize. Yet in reality I put my temporal needs of painting my toenails above my spiritual desire of making it to confession with time to spare. I travelled in the illusion that God owed me the right to receive this Sacrament.

It makes sense now that I did not receive the Sacrament that day. It was a humiliation that allowed me to see more of my spiritual misery.  It allowed me to see: "When you open the door of your soul to the Lord, you always stand before Him as a sinner who has nothing and who counts only on His alms."{3} It allowed me to see that I cannot dictate to God my will, and expect Him to carry it out. It helped me realize how I am an ungrateful beggar. "Such a beggar does not accept God’s alms and acts as if he were to say, ‘Come back later and bring me something else.’"{4}

With Blessed Mom, I am grateful for these truths that were revealed from God’s loving and most
merciful Light, and with Blessed Mom I thank God for showing me the truth about myself and how even in my spiritual misery He loves me as I am.

Footnotes all taken from: S.C. Biela, Open Wide the Door to Christ, (Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005)
35, 36, 35, 46

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