A Way to Deal with Spiritual Insomnia…

Featured imageDevotional Thought of the Day:

I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

27  Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? 28  Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe. 29  If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences. 30  That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave. 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (MSG)

1 It is taught among us that the sacraments were instituted not only to be signs by which people might be identified outwardly as Christians, but that they are signs and testimonies of God’s will toward us for the purpose of awakening and strengthening our faith.[2]

They should, therefore, constantly exert themselves to have the faithful know and live the paschal mystery more deeply through the Eucharist and thus become a firmly-knit body in the unity of the charity of Christ.9 “Intent upon prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4), they should devote their labor to this end that all those committed to their care may be of one mind in prayer10 and through the reception of the sacraments may grow in grace and be faithful witnesses to the Lord.[3]

316    You tell me: “Yes, I want to!” Good. But do you “want to” as a miser wants his gold, as a mother wants her child, as a worldling wants honors, or as a poor sensualist wants his pleasure? No? Then you don’t “want to”!

It was a long time ago, thirty-five years ago when the nights seemed so long.  I was young, working as a dishwasher at a Denny’s back in New Hamshire.  I worked the graveyard shift, the eleven to seven am a shift.  I would go from there off to high school.  There was a point on those nights, I can never forget.

When you work those shifts, or if you are just having a tough time sleeping, there is a time where the darkness begins to crush you.  It is about two hours before the sunrise, until the moment the hint of dawn starts to lighten the sky.  I would run up the ladder, get out on the roof, and watch the miracle of a sunrise.
But oh, the pressure of night in the two hours of the night!  It causes a sense almost like claustrophobia, as you wonder whether the night will ever end.

As I read the first quote above, the psalmist is comparing his hunger for God’s presence to the night guard waiting for dawn, those feelings resonated within me.  And It resonated so much, that the blog came about.

I think there are times we get spiritual insomnia.  We forget God is here, and we get overwhelmed by the darkness that is in life.  The evil that casts it dark shadow over us, that would oppress us with that same feeling that occurs in the hours before dawn.  The more the darkness crushes us, the harder it is to remember that dawn is coming, the harder it is to remember His light has shown in our lives… and still does.

No wonder Paul will talk of those who have fallen asleep and even died because they didn’t recognize the Body and Blood of Christ!

I put two quotes, after the scripture quotes, one from the Lutheran Book of Concord, one from the Roman Catholic documents.  Both talk of the strength found in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist  The strengthening of faith, the communion that grows strong among the people of God. It is something we agree on, this recognition of God’s presence, and His work in our lives.   His supernatural work seen as the Holy Spirit, strengthens, cleanses, heals, comforts and makes new.

The God we encounter as we are fed His Body and His Blood.

As His light again is brought into our lives.

As it shatters that darkness that we feel crushing us.  I’ve been in those darks nights, I’ve felt the pressures, the anxieties, both from physical darkness and spiritual darkness.  Perhaps that is why I so desire and love to share in Communion, why I appreciate it so much.  It is more refreshing than even the dawn.

So run to the altar, desire God’s presence as St Josemaria challenges us to desire it.  Even as that desire grows, know how He comes to you, through His Word, through His sacraments,

And find the rest those who work at night find, as their day ends with the dawn.

[1] Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 35). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.

9 Pius XII’s encyclical letter, Mediator Dei, Nov. 20, 1947: A.A.S. 39 (1947) p. 97 ff.; Paul VI’s encyclical letter, Mysterium Fidei, Sept. 3, 1965.

10 cf. Acts 1:14 and 2:46.

[2] Catholic Church. (2011). Decree concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church: Christus Dominus. In Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on May 7, 2015, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotional, The Way and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Terry Holland

    Bless your need to enlighten and strenghthen those of us seeking to understand the Lords’ word. To remain faithfull to His word in todays world is increasingly difficult without a clear understanding of his will through the Holy Spirit. Thank you for being you.

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