Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bared - pt.1

Back in October I wrote a post titled, "What if things are worst than we think?" and I'd like to address this subject and give some of my reasons for writing it:

 Over the years one of my biggest prayers has been, "Lord, grant me the light to see the truth about myself and the truth about this world we are living in." I have always had this certainty that we are WAY off kilter these days and that our spiritual perspective is skewed. I've never known what to do with this sense of  the world being off course in a significant way, despite tackling the issue in prayer over and over and over again. "What is going on here, Lord?! Please show me the truth. I cannot live here like this knowing that things are so awry and yet being unable to pinpoint what troubles my spirit so much. Please, Lord! Help me!"

Well, I'm sure you've all heard the saying, "Be careful what you pray for because you just might get it. " I GOT IT alright and there's a teeny part of me that wishes I had never asked. I had no clue that it would cause me more suffering in some ways and that I would have a tough time coming to grips with it. I have spoken a lot about the physical healing I received but less so about the spiritual one. The spiritual healing actually began a month or two before the physical and continued for months afterward. I walked around feeling as if my soul was completely bared to the Lord. Like Eve stripped of her fig leaf. And it was painful. Excruciatingly so. Why? One of the reasons is that I had compromised with the world to a degree. After all, I had to live here. Though I have made tremendous progress over the years and this pleased the Lord, there are areas where I was still compromising the truth. In my defense, I often did this because I hate hurting people. There's so much suffering in the world today that I couldn't stand adding to anyone's pain. Even in my writing I would hold back to a degree for fear of causing anyone hurt. I  found myself "toning down" what the Lord laid on my heart to spare others pain or fear. This is one of the reasons I take time off regularly now, it gives me extra time in prayer and allows the Lord to give me an "adjustment" in my thinking. In posting about the serious times we live in, the key isn't to say "Well, okay, maybe things aren't so bad after all."  The key is to be truthful about this era and remind people that God is yearning to show them a better way. "Dying" to show us a better way is probably more appropriate when you consider that this is exactly what He did. It's about revealing his mercy without soft-soaping the reason why we are so in need of this mercy. The reason we need his mercy is SIN, plain and simple. You can't sugarcoat sin - though we certainly do try.

If the Lord had only revealed my own sinfulness I might have borne it better than I did. After all, this was something I could correct with his grace. What caused me tremendous grief was seeing the sin I was surrounded with in the world at the same time. I cannot force others to correct their own lives. Every person has the free will to choose right or wrong and, unfortunately, much of the world is on the wrong path right now. My consolation is the understanding that God is at work correcting this because He loves us very much.

The sense of being surrounded by sin (while still having to deal with your own) is extremely painful. I can't help but be glad that the Lord lifted this from me when it became too much to bear. But I know it's still there  hidden from my senses. As much grief as this has brought me, I can't disregard what a  tremendous grace this also is as it brings clarity about sin, especially ones that are hard to discern such as false compassion and the little (and big) ways in which we compromise the truth in our world today.  It doesn't take a great deal of discernment to see that this world has gone off path so I'm not absolutely sure why many people are unaware of this fact. Not only are many unaware, but many people EMBRACE the world today and consider the human race "enlightened".

Scary, our ability to deceive ourselves.

God have mercy.


  1. It is difficult to continue to have hope in these troubled times, especially when confronted by my own sin. The truth is that His Mercy is greater than all of this..... One of my favorite prayers is the Anima Christi... and in particular this part of the prayer:

    Within Thy wounds hide me, separated from Thee let me never be.

    This has helped a lot. So thankful to know you through the blogosphere. Prayers for you, and thanks for all your prayers for me too.

  2. Years ago I was discussing the state of the world with a friend in a pub. It was really bad, back then.

    He said: "Yes ... the world is bad. But you don't have to live in this world do you?"

    I wondered if he knew what he was talking about. He continued: "You can live in your own world ... with God!"

    I've often thought about this as the years passed and the world got even worse ... or so it seems.

    My friend was right. As long as we live our lives as best we can, as honest and prayerful as we can, hand in hand with God ... it doesn't really matter what happens in the rest of the world. Every day in the media we see bad news about events we have no control of, excess and greed everywhere, injustice and wrongdoings. But we should not allow the negativity of this world to invade OUR world, with God.

    Consider the monks or nuns who spend their lives in monasteries and convents away from society. They live their simple lives in prayer ... focussed on God.

    I admit we can't all leave our daily lives and commitments and go to a monastery. (They wouldn't have me ... they're not that desperate!).

    But we can live our daily lives in prayer with God, look after our families and loved ones as best we can, and help others whenever we can - by prayers, donations or whatever.

    And when the evils of this world bombard our minds we should stop and hand over the situation to God. He knows what He is doing and allowing to happen.

    God bless.

  3. Mom,
    I love this prayer too! Yes, His mercy is greater than our sins and I place myself in his wounds all the time. Thanks for commenting. Sometimes it's hard to blog knowing that one's flaws are hanging out there for all the world to see. This trips me up sometimes, until I remember that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. Thank you for your prayers :)

  4. Victor,
    Sometimes I wish that I did live in a convent! Sounds peaceful, doesn't it? But, no, they wouldn't take me either :)
    Wise words, Victor. Yes, God, has everything in hand and always does. This is not to say that the world isn't reaping what it has sown though. A couple months ago I read an article about St. Therese's words to a person from our day and age (I wish I could remember where I saw this). St Therese told this lady that the world today is no longer nourishing to souls and that many souls are stunted in their growth. She went on to say that, because of this, God is stepping in in an unprecedented way because if He did not - too many souls would be lost and God could not allow this. There have been a number of saints and mystics who have spoken about our days though some of them lived hundreds of years before us so I'm inclined to accept the words of the lady I mentioned above. I see it myself.
    God bless you, Victor, and thanks for commenting :)

  5. Oh how well I relate to that troubled feeling...knowing deep in one's soul that we are completely askew in our spirit..as a society and as individuals...I know this heartache and I pray that God continues to comfort you, purge you, and bring you to peace in HIS TRUTH.
    I also pray that you continue to have the courage to "write it like it is" when He places something upon your heart to share.
    We all learn so much from you, Mary.
    You are a great blessing to so many.

  6. Mary....with regards to the lady and St. Therese's words....she said God is stepping in, in an unprecedented way -- what was she referring too?

  7. Julia,
    I'll see if I can find the article and send you the link. I think what she is referring to is the immense graces being poured out on us today, but I'm not sure. I'll send you the link after I find it. God bless you, Julia :)

  8. Judy,
    Thank you so much for your comforting words and your prayers. Sometimes it frightens me how "askew" we are until I look at the Cross and realize that Jesus' sacrifice more than compensates for our brokenness. Thanks for letting me know that you can relate to this too.

  9. Our ability to deceive ourselves is scarey! The gift of self awareness is one "hell" of a gift! I always thank the Lord that he hands it to me in bits and pieces otherwise I would die in self disgust!

    Thank you for sharing this Mary...it brings so much to mind.

  10. DG,
    Yes, "hell" is a good word for it ;) Now, if only I had more humility these things wouldn't bother me so much when the Lord shows them to me!

  11. God planted that questioning spirit in you when He made you . . . and you were listening with the ears He gave you . . . and you asked with the Heart he Gave you . . . guess what? You are doing His Will.

  12. Thank you, Sarah, for your beautiful comment :)