|Pedro Arrupe 1907-1991|
(Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 19)
I am feeling in need of dose of help and strength....
Just when I am beginning to feel more confidence in my reading and studying....geeze.... Still, I am staying with this. : ) Isn't there a song or something about "I shall persevere..." On to the third frail and glorious moment Macrina recalls:
"...comes from Graham Greene's novel, The Power and the Glory. The scene is that of a preist condemned to death during a religious persecution in Mexico. The tension in his life has driven him to depend too much on alcohol during his later years.
'When he woke up it was dawn...It was the morning of his death. He crouched on the floor with the empty brandy flask in his hand trying to remember an act of contrition...He was confused...it was not the good death for which one always prayed. He caught sight of his own shadow on the cell wall...What a fool he had been to think that he was strong enough to stay when others fled. What an impossible fellow I am, he thought. I have done nothing for anybody. I might just as well have never lived.
Tears poured down his face: he was not at that moment afraid of damnation...He felt only an immense disappointment becasue he had to go to God empty-handed, with nothing at all. It seemed to him at that moment that it would have been quite easy to have been a saint. It would only have needed a little self-restraint and a little courage.
He felt like someone who had missed happiness by seconds at an appointed place. He knew now that at the end there was only one thing that counted - to be a saint.'" (Wierderkehr, p 20-21)Brandon Heath
"At this moment the whiskey-drinking priest can see nothing in his life except his frailty. His glory is hidden from him. You and I , stepping back from the story, can see so much more. His ache for God is obvious. He wanted to be a saint! Reading this story, it is easy for me to see his frailty and his glory, his littleness and his greatness." (Ibid)
|What does the eyes of|
God look like?
Macrina writes that the eye of God beholds so much more than we are able to see in our lives at any moment. Praise God! "Always" she says, our goodness and potential loom large under God's gaze. If this is true, then why is it so difficult for me to see this goodness and potential, me, who strives to be the hands and feet of Christ in my life?
"Are we not aware that when Paul says in his letters, 'Give the saints greetings,' he is talking about the saints on earth, not the saints in heaven? This is our vocation: to be saints. The journey to holiness begins this side of heaven. The taste of heaven begins right now. How hesitant we are to claim our inheritance!" (Ibid)
|Not Henry's house, just similar...|
When Henry died, his mind was gone, and he basically died alone. My husband always insisted that Henry had money, but that was hard to believe...but he did. And what the attorneys and state didn't get, some distant cousin claimed. Thinking of Henry, I still shake my head in disbelief, yet that is what Macrina says I do in regards to my spiritual life.
"...as Father Plus, whom I referred to in my introduction...has said, 'In this frail envelope of our body is enclosed a great marvel.' We have riches that we refuse to own." (Ibid)
|Thomas Merton 1915-1968|
Make ready for the Christ,
Sets free the song of everlasting glory
That now sleeps,
in your paper flesh,
Again, I feel so humbled as I hold the thoughts and insights of Macrina, Thomas Merton, the Apostle Paul, Pedro Arrupe... They write so easily about this glory that resides within me....and within those whom I have judged or discounted....people like Henry.
Macrina continues by saying that my/our flesh is my/our frailty. I understand that! My flesh, especially since my last car accident has left me unable to do many of the things I enjoyed before. It has left me physically weaker, sometimes "unstable" when I become tired, sometimes it feels as though my flesh has let me down...failed me. So this notion of my flesh being my frailty....is not difficult for me to grasp. What is a challenge is for me to accept that the "dynamite" is my splendor.
"When the two meet, a song of everlasting glory will be born in our hearts. It will be the end of mediocrity in our lives and God will weep again, for joy."(Ibid)
|God will weep for me, just as|
the Prodigal Father wept.
I don't know why this image has the power to take my breath away, because I "KNOW" this! I preach this! Yet, do I honestly believe it in the depths of my heart for "me"?
How am I like the downcast and alcoholic priest who sees nothing but my frailty, missing my glory? I preach a loving God. I preach grace within baptism. I preach all these good things, yet I wonder...do I accept it as truth for me?
A few days ago I would have responded, "Of course!" Yet, if that is true, then why do these stories and images cause me to pause....and wonder.
You are a love song
beauty set to music
You are a love song
I have chosen you. ~ Theresa Hucal
Lord, all this is so much. I am reminded of the song by Casting Crown that asks, "Who am I...not because of what I've done, but because of who you are." God, people like Henry, the alcoholic priest...I look at them and think "what a waste" yet...I do recognize pieces of their story are my story. Lord, help me to acknowledge my gloriousness because it isn't "my" gloriousness...it is yours. It feels like bragging/pride to think of myself as saintly...as splendor...yet it isn't me and what I do...it is you and what you have done. In some ways, I can see that it is my ego that refuses to acknowledge the greatness within me, because for that greatness to truly shine...I have to let go! Geeze...God, you and I have gone down this path in The Cup of Life, and here we are again! Thank you for your patience and your love. Thank you for second chance upon second chance. I rejoice that my conversion is a process and is ongoing! AMEN.
Yes, this is one of my most used songs, because it speaks to my heart on so many levels. Casting Crowns song "Who Am I?"
Many Blessings ~ Sandi