Wednesday, February 4, 2009
"Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as his sons." So often people complain about the struggles they have in their spiritual lives. Usually they believe that if they were just more disciplined or had greater faith, if they tried harder things would be better, or they would be holier. Never have I heard them say: " I am struggling because God the Father is treating me like a beloved child." Indeed all to often we fall in with the accuser of our brothers. We believe the lies and judgments that the deceiver sows. We ignore the Truth of our lives; that we are beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Instead we act as if we should be able to will ourselves out of every struggle and weakness. That since we know better we should never fall into temptation and sin. That we can discipline our way out of any trial. In essence we want to make ourselves pleasing to ourselves; then and only then do we consider ourselves pleasing to God. In other words we forget about God our Father and His Revelation to us in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord and Savior, and instead act as if the spiritual life boils down to a how to feel good about yourself self help best seller. In this we are not acting upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the Lover of our souls. In fact we are embracing the opposite, that is the snare of the evil one, who always tries to get us to place ourselves and our feelings at the center of the Universe. The truth is that the spiritual life is a struggle. The truth is that our Father in Heaven wills it to be so because in our struggles He disciplines us. He disciplines us because He loves us as His beloved children. Enduring the trials of our life we can only be nourished by our Father's Merciful Love that is His Son Jesus. Think here of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. In enduring the trials of the spiritual life we must constantly be sustained by our Father's Loving Mercy that is the Holy Spirit, the Lover of our souls. We would do well to humbly accept and endure the trials of our spiritual life because in them our Father in Heaven draws us into communion with Him as His beloved children. In communion with Him we will be perfected, we will be made holy by His Loving Discipline. In our trials we can choose to live in the truth of this intimate relationship of Mercy with our Father, or we can embrace the self help best seller and remain in our misery as we try and fail to will ourselves to be better or happy for we will certainly not be holy.