On Giants' Shoulders

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sage Advice From Our Priest and Other Thoughts

When you are failing in charity focus on faith. When you are struggling with faith, focus on charity. It seems backwards, but it really does seem to work. When you are struggling with both?? Well I'll have to ask him that next time... It will give him yet one more opportunity to laugh at me in the confessional. It's good for me, it helps me take myself less seriously. I wonder if that's the secret of the saints that were able to "fly." Is it possible that they learned how to not make it all so difficult and simply let God be God without over analyzing everything? They certainly were violating the laws of physics which no one would do while studiously pondering them. Did they learn to trust God to be a loving Father who gave them good things (even the delightful ability to levitate) instead of seeing Him as a heavy taskmaster who was looking for slaves and wanted to deny them things which would delight them? I don't ever expect to fly, or walk on water, but I'd sure like to get to the point where simple trust came a bit more quickly.

There have been very few times in my life where I was willing to step out of the boat and do something that looked very, very scary. Becoming Catholic was probably one of the most notable examples, but there have been times when I've prayed totally unreasonable, illogical prayers, only to get incredible, miraculous, totally impossible answers. Of late, it's been hard to see answers at all, other than some great big NOT YET's emblazoned across the walls of every corner of my life.

What I realized today is that in the midst of all of that NOT YET, that I've actually finally found kindred spirit friends. I spent time with two sort of casual friends in the past two days. We cried together, laughed together and shared our individual agonies of life and of spirit. Afterwards the shared burdens seemed just a bit lighter and I realized that despite the sense I've had for some time that I don't really HAVE any close female friends anymore, that I really do. It's just that the friendships are still in the formation stage, and they have a different focus than the kindred spirit friends of the past. So maybe there's one YES in the midst of all those NOT YET's. Hmm, I guess He's listening after all.

So maybe that's why, once again, I'm praying some totally unreasonable, illogical prayers. Hey, what can it hurt? I sometimes refer to my daughter as "the princess" and joke that when "the princess" wants something her father has a difficult time saying no (for example he's now buying a new hot water heater because she complained about the lack of hot water last Saturday - YAY!!!!). So I'm going to make unreasonable, illogical requests and hope that perhaps my Father is listening to His "princess" as well. The worst thing that can happen is that He can say NO, and just maybe He'll say YES. Meanwhile, I guess I need to practice charity. Loads and loads, buckets and buckets of charity! Not because God will listen more if I do, but because my faith will be the stronger for it, at least according to Father Mattison.


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