Monday, February 15, 2010

We could all use a little TLC ...

I'll be going on a "blog fast" for Lent. For a full 40 days. I'm called to the desert, to cling only to the hem of my Beloved's garment, for at times, that is all that I might be able to 'see' or 'feel.' One small thread. On this past retreat, I read something that has pierced my heart:

"I know you love Me when I'm present. But will you love Me when I'm absent?"
That is the truest test of love. When the consolations, gifts, blessings, comforting 'feelings' are gone, then what? Where do I go? Where do I turn? What do I do? What do I seek? Who do I seek? If it's not Jesus, if I don't keep asking, seeking, knocking, and calling on His Name, offering a 'sacrifice of praise,' when the 'feel-good' times are obliterated by a long-night's shadow and desolation, then I've a ways more to go, on this path into His Most Sacred Heart. So with that, I'm going for a walk. A long walk into the desert. I stared preparing last Wednesday for the trek, when I went on this silent retreat. But in less that two day, this Ash Wednesday, I'm closing the 'door' and the 'gate' on all (things/people) that might be still trying to 'squeeze' out Jesus' place in my life/heart. I'm going for a long walk in the desert to meet only Jesus. To meet "Truth" my truest Love. I have to start out on "my own," just like the Prodigal Son did from the pig sty on his way back home and many other similar examples found in the scriptures. Not that I've sinned drastically, but it's the "little foxes" nipping at your heels that make for quite a racket and potentially cause much more harm, if ignored.

When I come to that "solitary place" that He has prepared for me, by a lone "Tree" I'll see a small plume of smoke in the distance, rising from the fire He's made for us to sit by, and it is there that I must go. The urge to 'blog' or check Face Book will no doubt hit. The habit to turn on the TV when the silence gets "too loud," might also tempt. Or even to reach for some book, no matter how good, might be a strong desire in that 'desolation.' I'm writing about this, because it has already happened to me once out here at the Benedict Retreat house last Thursday evening. The desolation came, but I didn't "persevere" and reached for one of the computers in the guest computer room, to 'comfort' me when the dark and forboding thoughts/accusations/and spiritual attacks hit me for a few hours. I pray that the lesson was learned. But when that happens, it is the time for me to not be anxious, but silent, to not reach for those other 'lesser comforts' and to sit at His feet, (even if I don't see them) to recline against His bosom, (even if I don't 'feel' it) to hear the beating of His heart, even if it takes some time to reach my ears and the 'ears of my heart.' But with child-like trust, I pray to be absorbed into Him, into that Holy Chamber - where all other sounds fade. Where the lure of 'lesser gods' gives way to the 'torrent of love' gushing from the Lover of my soul. When fear comes and darkness and evil seems to be all around me, I need not fear.
That is when I need to persevere, call His Name and ... wait.
God bless you all this Lenten season. Listen. Hear Him calling you, too.

"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."

Trust. Listen. Come.

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