Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Bad Place

I'm in a bad place. Or am I in a good place? I guess it depends on whether you ask my soul or my spirit.

The image that comes to mind is that photo of Niagara Falls almost entirely frozen over. I've been to Niagara Falls a few times, and the first time I was there, I was struck by how green and lush the grass was all around it, even a significant distance from the water, because of the constant spray. This is like the flow of grace. I have had times, in the past, of pausing and realizing that grace was really flowing and moving in my life. I have a card from my first spiritual director and he made this comment in it that a significant movement of the Holy Spirit seems to characterize God's way with me. Lots of movement.

But God is doing something new. It is like He has turned off the Niagara Falls of grace to my spiritual sense abilities.

This is a whole new type of quiet. I hate it.

This reveals a lot of slime that has been covered over by the constant movement. I resent seeing it.

This reveals that I have found delight in a lot of things that were of the flesh, but I mistook my delight for the presence of God.

I have mistaken conduits of grace for sources of grace and have grown inappropriate attachments. Conduits of grace without grace are mere empty shells and offer no life. Grace is the gift. Conduits exist to serve the gift, but they are expendable, because the Lord of grace calls the shots.

And I see that at the end of our lives, we will be judged on our love. Love is not a feeling. Love is expressed in the choices that we make based on faith in God's promises, on which we continue to stand even to the point of loss of all. Grace is there, even when I don't sense it. That is a truth on which I stand in the faith I cannot feel, by a love which I do not feel, and my ability to do so comes from a God I cannot perceive.

Without grace, I too am an empty shell. Good for nothing. And I hate it.

I read some quote recently from St. Therese of Lisieux in which she said she loved her poverty, her nothingness, her littleness, because it was why the Lord was pleased with her. Well, dandy. I'm not there. This is all a rather new shock to me. It is a mercy to have one's crap revealed, I know. But I don't love it. I hate it. Like I said, I'm in a bad place.

1 comment:

Patty Bonds said...

I'm trying to write something but all I can do is sigh.