Sunday, March 3, 2013

As I Wander Deeper into the Desert of My Soul

                “My Lord, my God, as I wander in the desert of my soul, I keep finding things hidden in the sand; things that have been there a long time, half buried in the sand as the winds of time have slowly blown the many of grains of sand over them, making half hidden piles camouflaged and hard to recognize. I have to look very carefully and when I find a sandy mound, I slowly and carefully brush away the sand to reveal what lies beneath. Only with prayer can I find the confidence to look further. I can’t do it alone. Without You, I want to bury it again and walk away. With Your help, I can face these things I have tried to hide within me. With You by my side, gently encouraging me, I am able to uncover my flaws, my weaknesses. I can see how I have tried to rationalize their existence, how I have made excuses and how I have been lazy by burying them deeper. When I rely on just myself to correct these flaws, the job becomes too overwhelming and I give up, bury them again and say, ‘Maybe later I will work on that.’
                “How sad, that limits Your power. You can do anything. Nothing is too much for You. You created me. You know me. You know what I am meant to be. It is I who have messed it all up. It is my pride that keeps me from asking for Your help. Sometimes, I want to hide myself from You until I am all okay. Then I can present myself in a worthy fashion to give You glory and honor. Silly me, when I think I have fixed everything and I think I am in a good state to present myself to You, I am actually completely unworthy to stand before You. It is when I kneel, broken and poor in spirit – that is when I am most ready to be before You. That is when You reach out Your loving embrace saying, ‘Now you’ve got it. Come to Me and let us be united through My Sacred Heart.’ That is when You can bathe me in Your light, dress me in Your love and let me shine pure and bright with You inside me.
                “Dear, dear Lord, show me my pride. Place a large sign on that mound in the sand so I can’t miss it. Walk with me as I hesitantly approach it, clean off the sand and reveal its hideous appearance. Pride is like a bomb. When it goes off, it destroys many things in its path and creates a chasm of chaos and destruction in the soul. Show me how to destroy it, not just bury it. Show me how to replace it with humility. May humility fill that deep hole and all the adjacent holes created from that explosion. May humility smooth over the sand, enabling me to walk ahead with Your hand on my shoulder, to find the next mound in the sand. Let us walk together, not lost and stumbling, but searching throughout this desert like explorers with great anticipation and joy at finding the next hidden part of me to be transformed by You into something that makes me more like You.”

Help Me Be Rid of Pride

                “Dear loving, almighty merciful God, thank You for listening to my heartfelt plea. Help me to walk the path You have laid out for me. Keep me humble so that at every turn and twist of the path, I can look up and ask You which way to go. May I never be so bold to make a choice of which way to go without first consulting You and Your wishes for me. At every intersection, may I stop and ask which way will give You the most glory? If I hastily make a choice without considering You, than I have fallen prey to the sin of pride which lies hidden deep within me, always looking for an opportunity to rise to the surface and whisper in my ear, only to disappear again within me like the stain of breath on a mirror.
                “Through sincere and humble prayer focused on You, I can try to keep my pride held in chains. Better yet, may my lifetime of prayer break apart the bond of pride and drive it out completely from my soul. When I kneel before You at the end, may the shroud of pride be gone from my soul, revealing the glowing, burning love You first placed in my heart at my conception. May that fire rise up in Your presence, engulfing us both and all those around us. May that fire be pure, bright and powerful because it was made by Your almighty creator hands.
“I am Yours Lord, truly Yours. Do with me as You will and may I never forget that I belong to You and not to myself. You are my God, not myself. You are my reason for living, not myself. Thank You for listening to my heartfelt plea.”

May I See Your Glory in Misery

                “Dear Lord, I am so grateful today for the life You have given me. I have never known poverty, chronic illness, hunger, major injustice, political tyranny, war, religious persecution punishable by death, homelessness, theft, untimely death of a family member…Oh dear Lord, these conditions have existed all throughout time and You have placed me in a bright window, protected from such misery. Thank You for the blessed life You have given me. I pray that my sheltered life will never allow me to forget the poor, the miserable, and the suffering. May I always try to ease their pain. May I always try to bring Your shining light of love into the darkest places. Misery is a part of this earthly life; may I treat it as a gift You provide to offer us a chance to respond; a chance to share You and Your blessings with others. Misery opens the door to Your mercy and Your love. Let the misery around us be a key to open our hearts and to let You in, to let You work, to let You shine in all Your people, both in those helping and in those who need help. May I never turn away in disgust, fear, despair or, worst of all, in indifference. You have allowed misery throughout time, including now all around the world. When I see misery, may I embrace it and see Your glory in it. Thank You for this beautiful life You have so graciously given me and therefore, may I always be ready to be an instrument of Your love to all those in need.”