Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Friday, February 28, 2014

Entrustment to Mary = Encouragement for the Discouraged

The blog post written by High Hopes last week has had me thinking.  It was an extremely timely post for me personally, and I kept reflecting on the fact that I, too, was entrusted to our Blessed Mama “in advance”. 

When that post came out, I was a very discouraged soul, wondering why I couldn’t keep my misery, my weakness in check and under control.  I had allowed my discouragement to keep me from praying, from turning back to God, to reaching out to my spiritual director.  Instead, I found myself turning to sweets, TV, Facebook, and naps.  I had forgotten about what growing in holiness truly is:  growing in awareness of how much I need God. 

So, when I read that post, I was actually very much ENcouraged!  Yes, there is a reason why I was entrusted so many years ago.  I so very often trick myself into thinking how strong of a person I am and/or need to be.  No.  The truth is, I am not strong.  I am weak.  I am in need of my Redeemer.  There is no shame in recognizing this truth.  The tragedy is in rejecting my Savior’s loving mercy. 

I had been meaning to reach out to my spiritual director, but my thoughts were a jumbled mess and even I didn’t know what I was going through.  So, I avoided emailing him and avoided praying about it.  I am SO amazed at how God wouldn’t have any of that, not for long, anyway.  This past week, I got a very unexpected phone call – from my spiritual director.  It turned out that he would be in town and would be able to meet with me in person.  No phone call.  No emails.  In person.  Tomorrow.  God loves me so much He arrived via my spiritual director at my front door.  Because He loves me as I am – weak and confused.  “Remember that the Father does not stop waiting for you, not even for a moment.” ((S.C. Biela, Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock, [Ft. Collins, CO:  IAMF, 2005], 20).

I thank God for my entrustment, because my initial reaction to the phone call was to make excuses as to why he shouldn’t come (Control Freak likes to have time in advance to clean, plan meals, figure out what to say…etc).  But, because of His grace, I said yes in the arms of my Mama, and allowed Her to make the arrangements.  Because our meeting was in person, I was able to go to Confession to a priest who knows my soul.  What a blessing!  And what a blessing my gentle penance was:  before you go to sleep, spend 3 minutes in silence to take in God’s love for you. I share this with you, because of how it relates to this very blog.  I was encouraged to just allow God to love me as I am. What joy!  I was reminded that God sees my heart, sees my efforts, sees the state of my soul over my whole lifetime, not just in a few weeks’ worth of apathy.  I was encouraged to return to My Father via the arms of my Mother and say, “I am Yours, my Jesus.”  And I thank you, God, for allowing me to see the truth about my weaknesses, and how it calls upon the abyss of Your merciful Love.

The important thing is not to become discouraged.  If you get discouraged then you will resemble a child who tries to destroy a mountain with a pick ax.  But, seeing how little progress he makes after a few attempts, he despondently looks at his father and sadly puts away the tool.  When it becomes difficult for you, try to remember that those efforts, although not very externally effective, are very pleasing to God.  Perhaps the Lord will receive them as an invitation to enter through the door upon which He knocks.  In this way, your meager efforts will allow God to enter into your life with His grace because, after all, only the power of that grace can grind to dust the massive rock formation of your pride. (S.C. Biela, Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock, [Ft. Collins, CO:  IAMF, 2005], 42-43).

If you see your spiritual misery with faith in God’s love, then this truth will not threaten you.  If, however, you start to doubt God’s mercy, then newly discovered misery could lead you even to despair.  Doubting God’s mercy could provoke you to close the door of your heart before Him, thus directing you to commit even worse sins.  But if you try to remember that you are being carried in the arms of Mary, the Mother of Christ, you will be fully open to God’s love.  In Her arms, you may be shielded from your faults and unfaithfulness;  you may experience peacefulness and even happiness when God reveals the contents of your whitewashed tomb to you in a fuller light. (S.C. Biela, Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock, [Ft. Collins, CO:  IAMF, 2005], 28-29).

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