I’ve been thinking a lot about these two words and what they mean to me at this point in my life. There are so many things that I feel “done with.” Life is passing so very quickly, and some things just aren’t worth my time and energy anymore. Of course I care what I look like, but I’m tired of fighting my fine hair and the effects of gravity on the rest of me. Of course, I want to be liked and respected, but it’s a lot less important to me what others think and more important what God thinks at this stage of the journey. I want my yard to look tidy and manicured, but if there’s something more exciting and family oriented to do, the grass and weeds can wait. I feel the need to strip away the unnecessary and the frivolous. I long to just be – though I’m not good at simply be- ing for too long! My family knows, I’m usually giving 110% or I’m sleeping.
Today, I did a lot of work. I cleaned out my Mary garden and painted a bathroom that REALLY needed it. Both look fresh and almost sparse, but I think that’s good. I pruned back the rose bushes harshly, trusting that they will be loaded with buds in time once again. Simple and clean feels good.
I also enjoyed some time on my back porch listening to the gentle afternoon rain. In fact, I stepped out into it to catch some raindrops on my tongue. The rumbling of the thunder reminded me of God’s power and majesty.
I’m going through a reading and reflecting phase – kind of taking more in and sitting with it – than putting my thoughts out there by writing. I’ve begun keeping a spiritual journal, making note of thoughts I have while sitting with Jesus in adoration, or things I believe God is using to get my attention. Crows have been significant for me lately, though I’m not exactly sure what their presence means. I’ve been reading up on these very intelligent birds. I also just finished “The Boy Who Met Jesus, A Message for Humanity” by Immaculee’ Ilibagiza. It is a short, but powerful book with lots to consider.
I just finished reading the mass readings for tomorrow, Sunday, August 28th. They speak to us about humility. I’ve been taught that humility is the key to holiness. If we want to grow in holiness, we must first grow in humility – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 Once I prayed to grow in humility, and God sent me, an elementary school teacher, a parent who I could not seem to please no matter what I did. It was a long school year! After that, I shied away from praying for that grace for several years!
Anyway, I came across this prayer card. When I first read it, I thought – this is ROUGH! There is NO WAY I’ll ever achieve THIS level of humility. I tucked it in a book because it was a holy card, and it didn’t “speak to me,” however, I just couldn’t throw it away! Recently, I rediscovered it. The last line really speaks to me now in the times in which we live:
Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted, vexed, irritated, sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed and despised. It is to have a blessed home in myself, where I can go in, shut the door, kneel to my God in secret and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is troubled.
All around and above seems troubled – really troubled! Sometimes it is overwhelming. This is when we must realize that we don’t have to go all over looking for comfort – for God. He is as close to us as the beating of our own heart or our next breath. We can read His Holy Word, quiet ourselves and close our eyes. When we humble ourselves before our God who deigns to dwell within His beloved, the madness of the world disappears. He ministers to our world-weary souls. We no longer feel vexed or scared. We feel His love and His incredible peace – the kind of love and peace the likes of which the world could never give.
I believe that this constant “plugging in” with scripture, adoration, the sacraments and prayer will be very necessary to weather the storms ahead. You know, I used to find the rosary to be just repetitious prayer ( for me). I couldn’t “get into” it. I don’t know what happened, but I began praying the mysteries of the rosary in the quiet of the adoration chapel, in the presence of Jesus, and it has been truly transformative. It gives me such great peace, comfort and strength. I wish the same for you, my friends!