I know that I am far from being a saint, yet I have this great desire to be one. Over the past few years I have begun to realize the beauty and necessity of friendships rooted in Christ. Some friends that I have I would love to speak with daily yet even when months separate our communications, we are able to pick up right where we left off. Sisterly spiritual encouragement is something for which I am presently grateful. While they aren’t necessarily my biological sisters (although sometimes they most definitely are), we have a friendship that digs deep into the heart of the matter. I am able to cut directly to the truth and not hedge around political correctness. I want these e-mails, letters, and phone calls to be saved as aspects of these stories of souls on their way to Heaven. Of course this evidence would immediately reveal our imperfections but they would also unearth the deep desires of our hearts. It is the beauty of the Body of Christ, separated by space and time yet united in the intimacy of Our Lord’s Eucharistic Heart. When I encounter priests, religious sisters, elderly, young people all striving for Christ, I am renewed and reinvigorated. The Church is not dead. She is marching onward. She is wounded, She is weak, She is comprised of sinful people. Ah, but She is being sanctified.
Persevere, dear readers, in running the race for Christ, in striving continually for holiness. Look not at what you are, but what He desires you to be. Focus not on your imperfections but on His perfections. Never put out the desire to be a saint. God wants it of you and the world needs it of you.
“Dear young people, the Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelization: men and women whose lives have been transformed by meeting with Jesus, men and women who are capable of communicating this experience to others. The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity. Many have gone before us along this path of Gospel heroism, and I urge you to turn often to them to pray for their intercession.” -Pope John Paul II
In times of darkness Our Lord raises up saints. Well, there is no need to ask if this is a time of darkness. Therefore, we must be saints. Anything less is settling.
I’ve never read the book but I am in love with the title of a book that goes to the effect of “The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God.” That seems to be my life. I am convinced that if God gave me everything I asked for, I would be extremely miserable. Yet I still ask for things, unsure if they are desires of my own or of God. He has shielded me from many injuries and pains because He alone understands my tender heart. There are experiences that I have never had because of God in His wisdom and mercy. While I often criticize God for holding out on me, I know He has my best interests in mind. Even now as I am treading water wondering where I am to go or do, I know He has a beautiful plan. But this heart of mine is quick to doubt and worry. I find myself feeling very alone and isolated. I live at home but I feel that I don’t have a home at times.
Where am I to be? Where do I plant roots?
For some reason the answer for me doesn’t seem to simply be to build a foundation where I lived the first eighteen years of my life. Home isn’t home. While I don’t want to leave, I’m not certain how much I want to stay. I know that “no man is an island” but I feel as though I am a fish swimming in the river, joining up with one school before transitioning to another. Not forsaken or alone but not tied down. I am beginning to understand the great desire my heart has to be bound to something or someone. The media portrays women as independent and never desiring to be anybody’s anything. Yet how deeply I do! I want a promise of forever. My mind and heart long for marriage but I think my truest heart is calling out for Jesus.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
If God were to lead me to a different school every year then I would need to rely solely on God. The problem is that it is tiring. Life is a constant battle and I often love that idea and relish the thought of fighting. But then I get tired and what I long for most ardently is eternal rest. Perhaps all of these desires are true and natural, maybe even desired by God. The necessary aspect is to submit to God’s will. My identity is rooted most securely in Him. Regardless of what may come, I can always be convinced of being His daughter, His creation, His love. This is where I am right now and I cannot know what the future holds. Despite the plethora of uncertainties, I can assuredly know that I have a home that will never be taken from me–nestled in the Eucharistic heart of my Lord.
Yesterday I taught my seniors about conditional and disjunctive syllogisms. It was basic logic and easy enough for them to grasp. Perusing some of the syllogisms that they wrote as an assignment caused me to think of a couple of my own.
If I desire holiness, then I will be uncomfortable.
I desire holiness.
Therefore, I will be uncomfortable.
Either I will be pursuing a life of virtue and holiness
Or I will not be pursuing a life of virtue and holiness.
I am in love with the most beautiful and brilliant person. He loves me beyond my deserving and pursues my heart with all the tenderness of a Lover. In the morning He graces me with a glorious sunrise and in the evening He makes the western skies so filled with vivid colors that I am in danger of running into the car in front of me on my way to Mass. Then He embraces me in the warmth of the adoration chapel, whispering to my heart about the joys of being a member of the living Church, the Body of Christ. He stills my mind with its many worries and concerns, drawing me into His very heart. Then He lays down His life for me and offers me the best He has to offer, His very self. My Love proceeds to sit with me, knowing that quality time is the way to love me best. He has all of the time in the world for me. In fact, He has beyond time–He has a timeless love that He strives to impart to me. Soothing my fretting heart, consoling my desirous heart, wrapping me in His mantle of palpable divine love, He makes me long for forever with Him. And Lover that He is, He stitches stars into the night sky for me to admire on my drive home. I am in love with the most beautiful and brilliant person ever. He has written His name on my heart–and it is Love.
Life is never quite what one expects it would be. Although as I write that I wonder quite quickly what I expected life would be like. And then I am at a loss. Despite that, I am beginning to understand what life should be like. It is supposed to be continual journey…a gradual meandering closer and closer to the heart of the One who loves me best.
“O God You are my God, for You I long, for You my soul is thirsting, my body pines for You…”
I seek after the One who has already found me.
The Lord has placed me as a high school teacher and it is in this profession that I need to find Him in others. It is in this new position as a teacher that I have developed a deeper love for Jesus as the Good Teacher. It is also as a teacher that I have been reminded of how much growing I have to do for both my sake and for the sake of my students. While my heart is yearning for adventure and a great task, I am striving to seek after the heart of the Lord in the role that He has now placed me. Maybe I will discover, as many saints have said, that true greatness lies in the little things, that faithfulness, not success, is what Our Lord truly desires from us.