Do you ever think you have it wired?
Lord, I’ve got this.
When suddenly, like a thunder bolt, you realize you’ve been arrogant and prideful?
See how special I am?
What important job (s) I’ve been given?
And then shockingly subdued, back on the knees, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned….”
They are gifts I know, these humilations. His infinite mercy in walking with me while I walk rapidly down the wrong road, boggles my mind.
On that point, of late I’ve been overwhelmed by books, podcasts, videos and articles, all of which look excellent but I only half-read.
Or promise myself I’ll read it later, then don’t.
We’re halfway through the Easter season-on the way to the joyous celebration of Pentecost-and I’m ever so grateful for the school that reminds me to maintain a Lenten attitude even during our feast days.
Isn’t that more than a little depressing?
To the world, absolutely.
But, to us Christians, is it?
The reading for Thursday’s Gospel was St. Paul recalling St. John of the Baptist’s exhortation of who he was-and who he was not.
…John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'”
If the man who lived on locusts and honey in the desert while gathering the grace to proclaim Jesus’s coming, the man with the courage to publically admonish King Herod for his aldulterous marriage is unworthy, then where do we rank?
Very quickly after my conversion to Catholic Chrisitanity, I realized that I needed a school. Not that I phrased it that way back then, I just knew that I needed direction to guide me through the morass that was my new faith. Therefore when Judith, a psychiatrist friend of my husband John, invited me to come to a Regnum Christi meeting, I jumped at the chance. For the four years we lived in Connecticut, I relished the Regnum Christi formation and the holy women who befriended me.
But only after we moved to Nevada was I able to absorb the rule of Benedict: My School.
Since it’s May, we Oblates of St. Benedict begin anew with St. Benedict’s rule…with the Prologue. As is the case with all the Fathers of the Church, we could spend our lives dissecting the beauty, wisdom and love imbued in these stanzas. But it’s this section that cuts:
Let us arise, then, at last,
for the Scripture stirs us up, saying,
“Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep” (Rom. 18:11).
Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
let us hear with attentive ears
the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us,
“Today if you hear His voice,
harden not your hearts” (Ps. 94:8).
Recognize St. Paul’s words? We read them during Lent from him and other prophets and apostles. The words function on several levels. Primarily though, to recommit to daily examination of conscience. And a warning to my aggressive, capricious, untrustworthy intellect. The immensity that is the deposit of faith, the splendor of the writings of those men and women who have gone before us is too vast for a single lifetime.
I must not complicate this faith and its razors edge.
Or watch long videos and exhortations.
Instead, simple focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving affirms the paradox of this pure unworthiness coupled with Sonship. This soul has been saved through Baptism, the Eucharist and confession.
And the Lord, seeking his laborer
in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
“Who is the one who will have life,
and desires to see good days” (Ps. 33:13)?
And if, hearing Him, you answer,
“I am the one,”
God says to you,
“If you will have true and everlasting life,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips that they speak no guile.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek after peace and pursue it” (Ps. 33:14-15).
And when you have done these things,
My eyes shall be upon you
and My ears open to your prayers;
and before you call upon Me,
I will say to you,
‘Behold, here I am'” (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).
What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
Behold, in His loving kindness
the Lord shows us the way of life.
As you said, I know you have so many things to read and absorb… The Razor’s Edge is interesting and intriguing… Even more so, because I am now reading a book entitled, simply, Unafraid.. If you are so inclined, I recommend this to you. Where does faith begin and continue based upon His Love? The Psalm references the “who” to look forward… But then at the point where He is born and among us, it is the pharisees who work to get rid of Him… I’m finding solace in the book Unafraid… Sometimes, I’ve felt that I am the only one who truly believes in The Holy Trinity. In his book, Corey points out that it is because the churches of America teach of The Holy Trinity +1… When I read this part, I grinned, cried out “Yes!” and felt vindicated… But the book quickly moves on beyond this explosive statement… I’m find it is the book I’ve been searching for… This is a great article Faith really versus the razor’s edge… But do you think Jesus really wants us to feel that edge no matter how slight a cut it may make… I’m still learning, still searching… Reading your blog helps me to ponder my own faith… Thank you…
Thank you for your careful read and thoughts, Glenda. I find the longer I live, the more I ponder His majesty, mercy, immensity, the more I realize I know nothing about this Triune God whose love for each one of us exceeds all.