Devotional Thought of the Day:
6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NAB)
78 You don’t feel like doing anything and there is nothing you look forward to. It is like a dark cloud. Showers of sadness fell, and you experienced a strong sensation of being hemmed in. And, to crown it all, a despondency set in, which grew out of a more or less objective fact: you have been struggling for so many years…, and you are still so far behind, so far. All this is necessary, and God has things in hand. To attain gaudium cum pace—true peace and joy—we have to add to the conviction of our divine filiation, which fills us with optimism, the acknowledgement of our own personal weakness.
There are days like yesterday when I feel like my faith, which took two steps forward the day before, takes three or four steps back.
Sometimes this is caused by my own sin, sometimes by the sins I have to help people find redemption from, sometimes from sin I see or hear about, but am not in the position to help people with, (and sometimes I do not want to) and sometimes it is something that just challenges my faith, like my 46 year battle with my health. Some days are a perfect storm of all of the above, and I struggle to see God,
Sometimes, I do not want to.
My bet is that I am not alone
I think we all have those dark nights of the soul, those moments where we aren’t certain about God helping us, caring about us. We are so overwhelmed, so broken that we doubt his existence, if we bother to think about Him at all.
These are difficult days, it takes an enormous effort to think of God, to not run to something else to console or comfort or distract from the despair.
St. Josemaria talks of adding to the conviction of divine filiation, to put it in our terms, our dependence on God’s love for us, and loving Him in return. I am not going to say this is easy, for it requires us to look away from what is troubling us, and hear His voice, hear his promises, to know they are true. It’s not about our personal strength growing, but our dependence and awareness of His strength, His faithfulness. To see them as a measure of His love, His care, His work. The way we add to our conviction of His love is to hear it, and experience it through His word, through prayer, through the Sacraments. For all point to that day Paul tells the church in Ephesus is coming, the day when all is finished, all is complete.
A work that will be completed, a work that will be finished, a work that draws us into Him, into His eternity. This is our hope, this is our faith, in a God that comes to us, that we might come to Him. AMEN
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 547-552). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” Genesis 28:16-17 (NLT)
2 Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever. Psalm 125:2 (NLT)
470 Our Lord sent out his disciples to preach, and when they came back he gathered them together and invited them to go with him to a desert place where they could rest… What marvellous things Jesus would ask them and tell them! Well, the Gospel is always relevant to the present day. (1)
Last night, as we studied the passage we are preaching on this week I began thinking of the question that is the title of this post. I meet with several guys and we work together on the Bible passage for this week, which was talking about the struggles in this life are nothing compared to the glory that is awaiting us. It also talks about the presence of the Holy Spirit being the foretaste of that glory. This morning, my devotional readings included all three passages above, further fueling the thoughts and the need to meditate on this – and share it here.
We have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, therefore the places we stand and sit, as plain and simple as they are, are holy ground. But do we realize it? Do we realize that God surrounds us, His people – now and forever, Do we realize that as God makes His home in us, as we come to know the measure of His love, may we begin to really live?
Will we rest in Christ, and find the peace our souls depend upon, even as our bodies depend on food? Will we struggle with the concept of an incarnate God in our lives? Will we learn to depend upon His presence the way we depend on oxygen in the air we breathe?
A way to ask that is the title – do we expect to treat God in heaven the way we do now?
Will we forget about His presence, will we do what we want, will we go days without thinking of Him, talking to Him, hearing His voice as we meditate on His word? Will we keep Him at a distance, fighting with others for the furthest row from His presence? Or will will be in awe of the glory He shares with us? Will we run to Him, will we rejoice as He welcomed us, His children, into His presence?
Will our relationship change, and if so, why isn’t it changing already?
Look again at the above readings, what will change about the relationship, except perhaps that what we know, will also be what we see?
I pray that we would enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Love of God, that we are in awe at the thought of eternity with Him!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2066-2069). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.