Sunday, May 13, 2012
The First Cut is the Deepest
In my last post I spoke about spiritual pride and how easily I got caught in this trap during my early walk with the Lord. I wasn't kidding about being devastated when He revealed to me that I was about as far from a saint as one could be. When the Lord first starts performing surgery in this area, the first cut is the deepest. By deepest, I mean most painful. Why? Because it's performed without anesthesia. Or with very little anesthesia.
Humility is God's anesthesia and when one has very little of this virtue, the divine surgery hurts tremendously. I was depressed and it bordered on despair. Here I was thinking I was giving my all to the Lord and He was dissatisfied (or maybe He wasn't but it sure felt this way).
I mean, what a waste! Here I was determined to pray an Our Father or a Hail Mary for every single person on this earth (and well on my way to doing so) when the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks! My Pieta book with the series of prayers to be said daily for months on end, plucked from my hands! My Rosaries, my novenas? Poof! Gone in a flash!
"I prayed that whole darn book over and over for nothing, Lord?" (Well, I never actually made it through the whole year of St. Bridget's prayers though I sure as heck tried more than once.)
"And what about the six billion Hail Mary's I was well on my way to doing?! Dust?"
This was the first time I was booted off my throne and I wasn't liking it one bit.
"I suppose the Perpetual (man, that thing took forever) Novena for the poor souls is off too?"
Prayer had become a "fig leaf", not a conversation with God.
In truth, the Lord was doing me a great kindness by teaching me you can't buy your way into heaven. Not only that, He was showing me "my" Rosaries, "my" Novenas, "my" way bore little resemblance to His way. His way was grace and I had a lot to learn in this area. I had to learn to pray with the heart and that the power in prayer stems from the Person, God, behind the prayer, not from the prayer itself. Added to that, I never shut up. Silence is an integral part of prayer; it's rude to do all the talking. Listening matters.
Prayer is good. Novenas are wonderful. But following the leading of the Holy Spirit is the best. I DO still pray the Rosary and Novenas...but not for the same reasons.
"So Lord, how about the three day warning before my death? Is that one still a go?" Lol. (Those who have read the older Pieta books will know what I mean ;)