Saturday, October 26, 2013

The blind, the lame, the disabled.

"I am the man that sees my poverty..." - Lamentations 3:1

My prayer has become more and more like those sick we read about in the Gospel.  Those who prayed for years to be healed.  I think especially of those who lay by the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem:  'sick people lying there blind, lame or disabled waiting for the movement of the water.'  One man had been sick for thirty-eight years, when Christ came along.  Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed and the man said he had no one to help him down to the waters after they had been stirred up.  I imagine that he tried many times to get there, at times he may have found the strength to do so on his own, but in the end he always fell back on account of his weakness.

It occurred to me at adoration.  I try to get down to the waters as soon as the angel stirs them up, but people get in front of me, and I fall back, sometimes I hope someone will help me, but there seems to be no one.  Sometimes I want to see clearly, but I see only in shadows.  Other times I feel like I am on the fringes - like the lepers in their exile outside the gate of the city.  Only when I am brought to nothing can I understand that no one can help me but Jesus.  Sometimes I'm discouraged, by circumstances, by my weakness.  Sometimes I too can be scared off by his disciples, who tell me in so may ways not to bother, God doesn't hear the prayers of sinners, and so on. 

I'm not sure why I am posting this, aside from the fact the Gospel stories give me hope, the courage to persevere, despite falling at every step. 

I knew someone who went to Medjugorje, years ago.  He said as he walked into the church he heard an interior voice telling him, "You will be healed, but it will take time."  I told him I didn't know if the apparitions were authentic, but the interior locution sounded about right - to me at least.  Sometimes God seems to test our faith and doesn't heal us all at once.  Sometimes he allows us to struggle and fall, that we might be more humble after we repent, or because we suffer from our own shortcomings, we may learn to be merciful to others.  Sometimes it seems Jesus ignores us, tells us it is not right to give the good food to dogs - because we desperately need to know our misery.  St. Paul says it takes patience to do God's will.  Jesus tells us it is by patient endurance that we will save our souls.

Sometimes we aren't healed - at least completely - until the very end.  I knew a nun like that.  She had so much joy on her death bed because, as she said,  "I've been healed.  I no longer care what others think of me."  She suffered from depression for years.  Healing takes time - God's time.  It only seems to us that Jesus doesn't come along right away.  Sometimes he helps us up, but we fall back.  Sometimes he will heal us of something, but leaves the wounds to remind us and keep us humble.  We keep praying and trying, hoping amidst great suffering - very often suffering no one else is aware of except Jesus and Our Lady.

"One should seek assurance not in understanding but in faith." - John of the Cross

I'm not sure why I posted this...

I think it's because I need to put things in perspective.  I need to examine why I write, why I'm online.  Why do I think I have something to say? 

Quite awhile ago an anonymous commenter wrote:  "Man, you have a lot of people fooled."  I always think of that.  Whoever wrote it was right.  It could have been anyone who wrote it.  A friend, a former friend, a former co-worker, a family member.  Anyone who knows me, my inconsistency, my hypocrisy.  Comments like that have helped me and continue to help me.

Why do I write?  Why do I criticize others?  Why do I point out the speck in other's eyes when I have that log in my own? 

I can't give advice.  I can't correct errors.  I can't call other people out.  I can't even believe if I'm spending all my time looking for approval from others. 

I've had a lot of people fooled.

"For he who will punish the idle word shall not pardon vain joy." - John of the Cross

Please pray for me from time to time.  Thanks.