Monday, November 25, 2013

A Love Returned in Full

I had it all planned least I thought I did. From my aspirations and goals to my hardworking husband and four adorable angels of children, I thought I could more or less plot out what my life would entail. Oh, how wrong I was! Life throws you some unexpected curve balls. The things we can't plan for happen. And try as hard as we might, we cannot organize our lives into that perfect life we believe we deserve.

So just what are we to do? Surrender. Just one simple little word, but so difficult a task. Your hands are grasping desperately to the concerns of the world. Those clenched fingers might hold your dreams, worries,  or your material goods. Whatever it is, open your hands and let it go. I know how terrifying it can be to say with sincerity, "Thy will be done". After all, what if God takes your prayer at face value, and you're left living a life so distant from your own hopes and desires.

Christ is the lover of your soul. He loved you enough to bring you out off nothingness and into existence. We take this beautiful life we are given and can only dwell upon what we don't have. Well, if only my life were like so and so, or if only there wasn't such and such. You fill in the blanks. God blesses each of us with gifts so unique, why can't we just praise him for his goodness and trust in his divine plan?

It is through complete conformity with the will of God that we return our love for him. As St. Teresa of Avila said, "The soul must forget about {understanding}, and abandon itself into the arms of love, and His Majesty will teach it what to do next."

We can talk ourselves out of the daunting notion of surrender easily enough. "After all, I have things pretty much under control. Going to extremes like that really isn't necessary." You whisper to yourself as a quick balm to you conscience. This is very dangerous, for the more our gaze tilts towards ourselves, the more susceptible we become. We grow so entangled in our own little woes, we forget the big picture. We ought to remember the words of St. Catherine of Siena, "All that God gives us and all that He permits in this world have no other end than to sanctify us in Him."

I have noted that we often become so wrapped up in saying "no". It seems that's all we ever do! No, I can't wear an outfit like that. No, I can't eat meat on Fridays. Instead of focusing on all that we can't do, let's focus on our yes. As faithful Christians, every day of our lives we have the choice to answer with a resounding yes to Our Lord's call. Because of our faithfulness, we are blessed with so many graces. REJOICE! And start concentrating on the many opportunities we are given to accept the gifts and graces of God.

So there you have it. I know from firsthand experience that life is so beautiful when you throw your hands up in total surrender. It is so funny how God works. He pressed this issue upon my heart but after reading through this post and editing I realize how it pertains to myself. Terribly often I long to cling to my vain plans and affections. It can be the most difficult thing in the world to let go, completely and utterly. When you allow God to compose your life's story, it will definitely be filled with unexpected plot twists and a surprise ending. It will be a beautiful tale, filled with joy and peace; it will most assuredly have a happy ending.

Finally, the happiness of the person whose will is entirely submitted to God's is constant, unchangeable and endless...He is like a man seated on a rock in the middle of the ocean who looks on the fury of the waves without dismay and can amuse himself watching and counting them as they roar and break at his feet. Whether the sea is calm or rough, whichever way the waves are carried by the wind is a matter of indifference to him, for the place where his is is firm and unshakable. That is the reason for the peaceful and untroubled expression we find on the faces of those who have dedicated themselves to God.
-Father Jean Baptiste Saint Jure

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