Friday, July 10, 2009

Presence.

During a brief (and recently rare) encounter with my Creator, I became enthused: "At last! Contact with You! Now you can solve all these problems I have..." And I began to list them. They were all noble struggles--dealing, of course, with matters of heroic virtue and the various ways in which I was trying flex my saintly muscle.

But then, I had one of those quiet moments. No. There were no answers. He didn't give me my marching orders or a list of directives. He was simply there.

Presence. Communion with He Who Is.

And then, suddenly, that was all I needed. Him.

All I need to fulfill His will is Him. In obedience to what He sends, I dwell constantly with Him and move with Him from moment to moment, decision to decision. If I can accomplish one thing, what joy in His presence. If I fail at another thing, what joy in His mercy.

Which made today's meditation from Magnificat so beautiful. Nothing can replace this truth:

"We, the ordinary people of the streets, know very will that as long as our own will is alive, we will not be able to love Christ defninitevly. We know that only obedience can root us in his death. We would envy our religious brothers and sisters if we too could not 'die to ourslves' a little more each day.

"However, for us the tiny circumstances of life are faithful 'superiors.' They do not leave us alone for a moment; and the 'yeses' we have to say to them follow continuously, one after the other.

"When we surrender to them without resistance we find ourselves wonderfully liberated from ourselves. We float in Providence like a cork on the ocean owaters ....

"When we thus become accumstomed to giving up our will to so many tiny things, we will no longer find it hard, when the occasion presents itself to do the will of our boss, our husband, our parents. And our hope is that death, too, will be easy." ~Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel (d. 1964)

Image here.

5 comments:

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Thanks for your post.

That kind of communion and contemplative prayer is my mainstay. It is what keeps me sane -- and it keeps me obedient. It is impossible to be otherwise in the presence of the Presence. Just ask those who knew Brother Lawrence as described in The Practice of the Presence of God, one of my favorite books.

I notice that you have listed as a favorite book Seeking Spiritual Direction by Fr. Thomas Dubay. He has written a number of very good books--I read everything he writes and never fail to be mesmerized by it. Have you read The Fire Within? It's a great (thick tome) overview of myriad aspects of Catholic spirituality. The one that has become a real guide for me, though, is the less popular, Authenticity, in which Fr. Dubay gives guidance in how to determine if our "contact" with God is authentic. I wrote to him after reading the book because it was so helpful to me, and he kindly confirmed, in his opinion based on what I had supplied for information, the authenticity of some of my experiences. (Of course, my local priest is the one I generally run to when something unusual happens of a spiritual nature, and that is what Fr. Dubay recommends: analysis by a priest, preferably the one who listens to your confessions.) Try these books if you have not read them. I think you will find them illuminating.

Blessings,
Beth

e2 said...

Thank you, Beth. I do love Fr. Dubay very much--especially Fire Within. I have not read Authenticity, but it is now on my Amazon Wish List!

His Seeking Spiritual Direction has convinced me of my own need for an objective, regular voice in my spiritual life. What a gift he is to the Church!

Thanks so much for your note,
Erika

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I am curious, Erika. Have you found that objective voice? It is very difficult to find spiritual directors. When I could not find one here, I sorta made one of our local priests, the one who runs our local monastery, my de facto spiritual advisor. (He does not seem to mind, thank God.)

Have a blessed day (it is, after all, Sunday),
Beth

earthie said...

Madeleine is one of my favorites!!!! Get her book!

Maica Kozak said...

Thanks, as always, Erika.