Friday, February 26, 2016

St. Therese Thoughts- Don't Give Up

  I don't know if it's been because of the constantly changing weather this week...we had 70 degree weather last Saturday and Sunday, a blizzard with temps in the 30's on Monday and Tuesday, back up to 50's and 60's on Wednesday, back to snow flurries and high cold winds Thursday...but my faith life has been experiencing as many ups and downs this week. Someone said it was the weather, some say it's the full moon or something to do with some planets aligning up weird this week. Personally I think it's the devil because it's Lent...
  Whatever the cause, my faith life has been suffering because of it. Still reading and re-reading St. Therese's words on trying to offer up little acts of love. Why is it so very hard some times to do that? Then I read in her autobiography that she too felt incapable of the tiniest charity, the smallest expression of concern and patience and understanding. And she would time and again surrender her life to Christ with the hope that He would act through her.
  We don't get to a point in our lives where we can ever just sit and say, "There! I've done! I've achieved love and peace in my life."  It becomes more and more apparent to me that you almost never feel that way and yet if you dwell on that thought, the thought that you will never get there, all is lost.  I keep reflecting on how Therese kept asking our heavenly Father for help.  It's easy for us to look at her writings and life and say, "Wow, she did it, she mastered the patience and love she was working on." But that would not be true. It was a constant struggle for her. No one 'changes' just like that until we get to Heaven.  While she was faithful to the Gospel of Jesus and the core of His message, she struggled with living it on a daily basis. And there we see what we must also do.
  We tend to think that once-we've-begun-we-get-it-done." But that isn't how grace and mercy works. It would be too fleeting and never last.
  No, it must be a constant, daily or even minute-by-minute work of art for each of us. Just like our heart keeps a beat, our rhythm of breathing keeps repeating, so must our conscious desire to be patient, kind and merciful.  It may become a habit in some ways, but most likely it will have to be a rock in our shoe, a splinter in our finger that hurts and reminds us of the struggle.
  So don't give up on yourself. It's hard to sit during the Holy Mass and feel worthy enough to go to Communion on those days when I am fighting with myself again over my lack of compassion, patience or love...yet I fight myself to go because I so desperately NEED Jesus.  I know I am never worthy, but it's the food He gives me to keep trying every day to live with love. And when I receive Him I feel strength again. I know I can keep trying.  Abba, help me to keep trying!

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