Most of the sisters in my community would say these weeks are the worst weeks of the year; in school grades are due, the convent is being decorated, the kids are crazy, time is short, cookies need to be baked, presents wrapped, cards sent, and all the everyday things keep happening. I had my melt-down day today. In the novitiate, we always used to say that it wasn't Christmas if someone didn't cry. I was never that someone until today.
People sometimes warn about over-spiritualizing normal events in everyday life. I think I have failed to spiritualize them enough though these days. I've been so overwhelmed with school and community preparations for Christmas that I've forgotten that God is in all these things too. I hate to cry. I really don't even like emotions all that much... I know they are necessary but it's just not in me. Tonight though it all became too much for me. I spent all weekend at school working on some things that really weren't justly mine. I endured the advice of others to "relax." Then I felt the wrath of missing something important that I should have done a while ago. Needless to say, I found myself getting ready for bed and just crying. As I felt sorry for myself I realized that there are still opportunities that God gives me to forgive, to love, to be humbled, to sacrifice and mortify myself, and to work for His mission in the world. I just forgot that all these everyday things had that kind of meaning and grace in them. Basically, I was being a whiny brat. (I usually tell my middle school kids to "take it like a man" when they get a demerit or a detention, and I was not taking my own advice.)
Confession time - I haven't prayed as I should these days. I have bronchitis and I am exhausted so for the past week I have missed my daily prayer time in order to get more sleep so that I can work my life away. I know that has hurt my chances of doing anything the way God intends me to do it. Anyway, my prayer hasn't been great when it happens either. It's like I'm in a rut. Usually, I do really well to journal about things. It helps me to discern God's voice and action in my life but recently I've just been telling Him all the things I have to do. It has nothing to do with Him and it is all about me.
I don't know what I need to do to fix it, but again I know I'm falling into the trap of trying to "do" something in order to reap a benefit I see that I need. I know I really need to just entrust it all to the mercy of God and know that in His goodness He will show me His love and compassion.
I struggle with whether or not to share this particular part of my sadness tonight on a public forum but I think it is appropriate to share using prudence. It is hard as an active religious sometimes to totally avoid occasions of sin. Sometimes something small that someone says, while I am trying to be charitable and understanding, will stick with me and torture me. It may touch my pride, envy, or desire for affection and that thought will invade all other things. Something like that has been happening to me lately and I don't know quite how to handle it with charity and gentleness. Jesus did say to Peter, "Get behind me Satan." I do know that I need to end the relationship from which this temptation is coming toward me. This doesn't mean I stop praying in charity for the person or the situation but that I distance myself in witness to the Gospel of Christ and my vocation in His holy Church.
I know that Christ has given me a very particular grace to realize this lack of spiritual discernment and the harm being done me by a particular relationship. I must respond to it. I have been blessed to know that no matter what I have given my heart to Him and it can't belong to anyone else. I can't share it; I cannot entrust it; I cannot let it be seen by any other in the way I have allowed Him. It is difficult and painful at times but I do believe that the convergence of all these things at this time tonight was in His plan for me to rededicate myself to Him and to promise further my love and devotion to Him alone.
God keep giving me the grace! Amen.