Thoughts on Grace. These are the moments when we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment.
Hmmm. I was thinking about that "letting go and letting God" part of this meme and I am realizing that it's a good thing I participate in this meme because moms really have no other choice than to place everything in God's hands and go with the flow. Kids are unpredictable for the most part and their needs supersede our own. Since returning from the beach (where I had a nice little "spiritual routine" of daily Mass and prayer going) I am back to "winging it" where prayer is concerned. Far from being bad for me as I used to believe, this is actually good for me. How can praying less be good for me? Well, I certainly rely more on God during these times. My prayers often become less formal and more heartfelt. Shorter but sweeter, I guess you could say. Plus, I have come to realize that routine, which is normally good, can at times have a negative effect spiritually in that we can come to place more importance on the routine than on the God behind the routine. We can be "using" the routine itself as a source of consolation. A way to test this is to pay attention to whether or not you feel disturbed inside when your regular prayer/Mass routine is upset for a good while. If you ARE disturbed it's likely that your motives are not completely pure. So the Lord likes to throw a few "wrenches" into my daily routine so that I don't become complacent. Another factor that has come to my attention over the years are "prayer agendas". We all have these, whether we recognize them or not. Some are very subtle. Some are not : )
I have noticed that after periods of consolation during prayer, when a "dry season" sets in, that I sometimes try to reproduce, or maybe "recapture" would be a better word, these feelings by trying to do exactly what I did while they were happening. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I am well aware that I am doing it, too. As if God can be manipulated in such a fashion! The aridity and dry spells remind me that God is in charge at all times and I (now, at least) try to keep my peace regardless of the state of my prayer life. Note the word "try" because I am going to be very honest here:
Over the years I have thrown a number of what can only be called "spiritual tantrums" before the Lord. Just like a small child who doesn't get her way. Instead of remaining peaceful in the knowledge that God has all things well at hand at all times, in my spiritual pride I have allowed my emotions to "fly all over the place" when the Lord's will does not coincide with my own. At first I didn't realize I was doing this - until the Lord brought it to my attention. I was lacking in the trust and faith which are crucial to a Christian and important to our spiritual growth and it would result in my losing the interior peace that God gives us. I would get all nervous and upset over things in life that I had absolutely no control over. The thing is that God reveals things in layers and I was not aware at first of this "manipulation". As He has worked on the healing of my emotions over the years more and more of this kind of behavior has come to my attention. Some of the things He has shown me surprised me. "Now, Lord, why didn't I notice I was doing that?"
God hides a lot of things from us. Were He to reveal our sinful natures all at once we might be thrown into despair and He doesn't want that so He peels the layers off slowly. He purifies all aspects of our nature provided we allow this and it usually takes a lifetime. This is one of the reasons why we shouldn't judge others. Often, the very same faults lie in us.
My Sabbath Moment was originally going to be about my vacation but I somehow got sidetracked.
The vacation was great, by the way.