“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
-St. Paul to the Colossians 3.1-4
What did he go on to say? “When Christ appears, your life, then you also will appear with in him glory.” So now is the time for groaning, then it will be for rejoicing; now for desiring, then for embracing. What we desire is not now present; but let us not falter in desire; let long, continuous desire be our daily exercise, because the one who made the promise doesn’t cheat us.
-St. Augustine of Hippo
“Mary received her vocation from the lips of an angel. The angel does not enter our room visibly, but the Lord has a plan for each of us, He calls each one of us by name. Our task is to learn how to listen, to perceive His call, to be courageous and faithful in following Him.”
-Pope Benedict XVI
(Address at Vespers, Altotting, Germany, 11 Sept. 06)
At this point in life, I can not think of anything that I need to (learn to) do more. I’ve fabricated a myriad of distractions and they are my excuses to do everything but listen. Perceiving the call isn’t as difficult as we have the tendency to make it. God is speaking; calling us each by name. He is ready to do wonders in and through us. (He never ceases to do wonders all about us!) We need to start listening and looking. I need to start listening and looking. I wonder how it can be so difficult to be silent.
I have to admit that I don’t know much about computers or the internet. I’ve always been a bit of a Luddite and I am part of a generation that didn’t necessarily need a computer to graduate High School. I rejected the internet for three of the five years I was in college and resisted signing up for an email address when I left the university. I am new to this blogging thing and I sometimes struggle with simple internet searches.
This morning I read something that I had to share and save. I figured that if I put it here I could find it again. I tried and tried to post a link, but I couldn’t figure it out. I was frustrated. I gave up. This afternoon I realized that I could just post the link and it could then be copied and entered into an address bar. The link didn’t have to work. When I have the time I can figure out how to link to blogs. What was important was that I did not lose what I had found. And so this evening I tried to find the Lenten reflection that had inspired me and I found that my feeble searches led me to every reflection but the one that I was looking for. I had deleted the email that sent the reflection to me in the first place. Frustrated, I was about to give up again, but I finally found it. I had to try three search engines! So here it is, a link to Fr. Robert Barron’s reflection for the 42nd day of Lent with a recreation of what I wanted to say:
Flowers In the Desert
Most of the time I feel like I’ve been in the desert for too long. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find my way out. There are even times where I marvel that the ground hasn’t opened up beneath me and swallowed me like it did Dathan and Abiram. Yet God is gracious and God is faithful and I have faith that he is working in me. It may be time to start looking for the flowers.
Read what Fr. Barron has to say about the journey into the desert. I highly recommend this:
I hope in the future to write more about my own trip into the desert.
“Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.”
-Andrew of Crete
The Jews thought that Jesus wept on account of the death of Lazarus, but in fact he wept out of compassion for all humanity, not mourning Lazarus alone, but all of humanity which is subject to death, having justly fallen under so great a penalty.
-Cyril of Alexandria
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
It must have been late December 2006. I was in the formal discernment process with hopes of pursuing a call to the priesthood. A required discernment class was the first step. Not only was the class on Saturday mornings, the class was sporadically scheduled. Saturdays are difficult for me to give up (which may say something about what I need(ed) to sacrifice) and Fridays were the customary party nights. I was at a large local bar with a number of friends and it was getting late; Friday was becoming Saturday and I had class in the morning. There were so many reasons not to go to class, but the primary reason was enough: I certainly didn’t need to hear anymore meaningless words about a spirituality that was not worth fighting for. There were enough reasons to stay, but the primary reason was enough: the redhead was interested (or at least that was what I was told). My friend handed me a shot. I looked at it and thought to myself as I raised the glass to my lips, “I guess I’m not going to be a priest”.
“…and he caused me to return to the brink of the river.”