Sunday, November 15, 2009
Yesterday I talked about how I am getting good at ducking when the devil throws something at me. But sometimes, he hits me when I least expect it. Then I have to recover. There was a time, when my recovery time was way too long. I could hold a grudge for days, stew about something for weeks, ignore a person or give them the cold shoulder for months at a time.
But God worked with me on what I call, my recovery time. In some cases I can recover immediately, I have gotten better at letting things slide off my back and I never miss a beat. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes of hootin and a hollerin, and then I get back to normal.(Well, normal for me!)
Today during Mass I was thinking about the art of being gracious. Recently I was reading about St. Thomas Aquinas and how everyone around him for a long time thought he was as dumb as an ox. He never defended himself, which made things worse, they thought he was silent and stupid. The thing that fascinated me about him is that he was smarter than all of them, could have whipped their beehinds in a second. God had gifted him with a great memory. He knew he was smart and gifted, he also knew that they all thought he was stupid. They called him "the dumb ox". But he was humble and figured if God wanted them to know that he was really intelligent, God would show them. And God did.
Saints that act that way are so astounding to me. I can't imagine not defending yourself. But that is the point for me. It's not all about me looking good to others, it is about how I look to God. And if God wants me to look good, or bad or insignificant, well, He's God, and He knows what is best for me. If He only gives me the grace to be humble, I can make it through. My problem is that I have had a fear of people thinking ill of me, of not "liking" me, all of my life. Partly it is hereditary. My mom has always cared about what other people think, and she trained me well! Too well.
So today I asked for the grace to be gracious. Gracious women don't think about how they look to others, they live to make other people look good. Aren't we supposed to trip over ourselves trying to make others look better than ourselves, honoring others? I am going to really be meditating on this for the week during my Adoration time. I really love what God had to say to me today. It makes so much sense to me. Helps me to put myself in perspective. It's that whole, "dying to self" thing again.
And honestly, I don't think losing myself is too much to ask, when I think about what I have to gain. HEAVEN! That's why all the saints were willing to go the extra mile, to forget about themselves, they could see their goal, heaven. Being with God for all eternity. There is nothing better than that. Not money, not prestige, not every one loving me, not looking good to others. None of those things comes close to what we gain when we gain heaven. NOTHING.
It's not going to be easy. I know that. I don't like it at all when someone thinks bad things about me, it is going to take much grace. I already know I will be lying on the floor in front of the tabernacle, crying to Jesus like Faustina used to because she was so hurt sometimes.
But He is my best friend. I have cried to Him before, I will cry to Him again. Not a drop of suffering will be wasted. With God, it is all used for good. Eyes straight ahead, eyes on my own paper.