Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Own Doing

There are certain passages from Holy Scripture that touch a cord within me. I can't read them without it causing some kind of emotional response. Most of the time they bring me to tears. I have a difficult time compre- hending the enormity of God's love. It overwhelms me. The first such passage is from Paul's letter to the Philippians Chapter 2 Verse 6, it echos in my mind over and over again "Who in being the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to grasp" This is counter to almost everything that our cultures teaches. We are suppose to spend a lifetime trying in some form or fashion to be equal to God. Either we are to get as close as possible by being wealthy, powerful, famous, influential, beautiful or we are not in step, we are outcasts, the odd, the fanatical, the fools. When is the last time you seen a public display of humility? Pope John Paul II comes to mind when he was in his dying hours. God's love and display of humility is overwhelming to me. Another passage that touches a nerve is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, Verse 10. "He was made in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize him" This brings me to what is on my mind. I have spent many years trying to be recognized. This struggle with humility has come to the surface because I have recently opened myself to the public realm. Quite honestly I have felt the sting, not from being rejected, but worse than that, from not being recognized. I developed my defense against this many years ago. The stages of it goes like this, first anger, then abandonment. My attitude was always the hell with you and I guess I'll cross you off my list. Over time to avoid the pain of rejection I just avoided giving any piece of myself to anybody. In my mind I really believed that "the world is a wonderful place except for all the people" Well of course if "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" there is no place for that belief. So here I am. It is a struggle because there are times when I feel invisible even among those few people who I have tried to give of myself. In my silent times and in my prayers I plead with God to grant me this humility.

Again Here is the Litany of Conversion with a few more verse added:

United in the mystery of the conversion of Paul, we pray for the grace of conversion in our own life:
R. Lord, Give me the Grace of Conversion

Lord Jesus,

When I look at my life from the starting point of my own insufficiences, instead of from the fact of your compassion, grace, and love for me. R.

When I would prefer to live by my own thoughts and my own understanding instead of by your Truth which alone can set me free. R.

When I would rather brood over what annoys me than turn myself over to you always invite me to come to you. R.

When I obsess over self-absorption, complacency, and self-assertiveness. R.

When I get dejected about my sin, not because it offends you, but because it prevents me from being able to take delight in myself. R.

Whenever I live in a dualistic way, as if my faith and "my real life" are two separate things, R.

When I am deceived into thinking that my happiness depends on something in the future instead of what you give me in the present moment, R.

When discouragement and shame make hard for me to be faithful, R.

When I become distraught over the evil I would commit if left to myself, forgetting that I do not live according to myself but that I live in you, R.

When self-doubt and fear seem to have the last say, R.

When I miss the point of my fragility, a gift you give me so that I will always be prompted to rely on you, R.

When I am inclined to interpret my problems as punishments and my miseries as being abandoned by God, R.

When impenetrability takes over my life, making me resistant to your beauty and all the little ways you ordain yourself to me, R.

When I get distracted by my feelings, my emotions, my passions, my regrets, R.

When I get duped into thinking that I must fix myself up in order to have a relationship with you, forgetting that you come to me with your love just the way I am, R.

When I treat my faith like some abstract answer to be sought instead of as a loving Presence to be affirmed, R.

When I get discouraged by chronic or recurring sins in my life, R.

When I would attempt to earn you favor by achievements, forgetting that I did not choose you, but it is you who chose me, R.

When scandalized by my own selfishness and self assertion, R.

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