Thursday, February 11, 2010
He Leadeth Me
A couple of weeks ago my good blogger friend/deranged Caps fan, Christopher, sent me a wonderful book by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. called, "He Leadeth Me". As God will have it, I am also working on "Introduction to a Devout Life", by St. Francis De Sales. It's funny how God works things in a person's life, because these two books are the exact books I should be reading simultaneously!
They are both about totally abandoning oneself to God's will. Not conforming His will to yours, not even conforming yours to His, but completely, totally, abandoning yourself, and letting Him totally take over.
I began by realizing that on my own, not only will I muck things up, I will sin while doing it. God gives me the string and I hang myself with it every time. I trust in my own self, my own gifts and talents, (sometimes not even recognizing the One who gave me those gifts and talents), and I don't trust in Him. Him alone.
A profound statement in the book says this:" God must sometimes allow us to act on our own so we can learn humility, so we can learn the truth of our total dependence on Him, so we can learn that all our actions are sustained by His grace and that without Him we can do nothing-not even make our own mistakes."
Wow. Yeah. So very true. The Jesuit priest who wrote this book was writing about his experience of being a prisoner for over 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and Siberian labor camps. I am reading this thinking about how this man was in the worst possible situations known to mankind, at times living among people who acted more like animals than humans, and he found God there. He found God's will in his every moment. He fell back into the arms of God and each and every day, in each and every moment, He trusted in God to show him what to do. He didn't even fear death, because if that was what God wanted, well, than he would be with his Creator. So be it. He depended on God, and God alone.
Sometimes God leads us there. Sometimes He takes us to that place where we have to face horrifying things, suffering things, terrible injustices, so He can show us, that He is all that matters. That is it. Nothing can happen to me today unless God wills it, and if He wills it, He will get me through it. And sometimes I may think He is not helping me at all, but at those moments I need to go back to the drawing board and see where I am depending on myself instead of Him.
When I watch my Penny, sometimes she goes off to another place, she seems to nod off. She is present yet not present. I believe it is then that she is with God, someplace inside herself, just Penny and God. I also believe that each one of us will have our moments like that, where we realize it is just me and Him. Intimacy like we have never known with the One who knows us more intimately than even our spouses.
I am learning more and more, hell is not about fire and brimstone, wailing and gnashing of teeth because of pain and suffering. The wailing is due to the intense pain a soul must go through when he or she knows that they will never, ever be with God. To never see His face. To never be united with Him. That is hell. For all of eternity. Our souls hunger and thirst for Him, but souls in hell will never have that hunger satisfied, will never have their thirst quenched. My heart breaks for those souls. I pray for the souls here on earth who still have a chance, to live for God, to choose God. Before it is too late.
Our God is merciful. He loves us so much. He must cry over the souls who refuse Him, deny Him. He wants us to know and love Him. He loves us more than we could ever love Him.
He loves us more than we could ever, ever love Him.
God loves me.
God loves you.