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Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Reflection

Well, my reflections from this Good Friday weren't so "good" for me.  I'm sure they are good for my soul but I don't think anyone ever looks forward to loss and sacrifice -  both places where God brought me in my retreat today.

I'm finding myself feeling more and more confused as I ask, "What needs to die in me?"  The answers are all things that I don't want to have to give up... or things that don't want to give me up.  I am sure that there are deaths that must happen for my relationship with Jesus to deepen and spread to those around me.  This time though, I don't feel the zeal or the fight to let those things die.  I can see quite clearly where I am going wrong and how I can fix it.  I can see how my life would be better.  But for some reason my heart is not jumping to act on this knowledge... and I'm not sure why.

I spent my prayer time today reading Jesus' Prayer for the Disciples - John 19.  It hits me anew each time I read it and I think it must be my favorite Gospel.  Here is one part that really touched me today.

"I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth."

I can hear Jesus' impassioned prayer to the Father to care for each of His own and it amazes me that he could be so close to arrest and death yet so focused, not on Himself, but on me and on you.  And here I am, avoiding the death and sacrifice that is so necessary to what is happening in my church, my community, and my own soul right now.  Is that how I lost my zeal and my "heart"... by losing sacrifice?  I'm not sure.  What I do know is that it was unintentional but has now become learned and I must unlearn it with little or no feelings passion and desire to do so.  My mind is on one track and my heart is hardened on the other.

I'm sure this happens to us all at some points.  There are times when we are at our best and others when we are at our worst.  My best is when I'm working hard at a very focused task and when I'm praying and living well the community life I've been called to.  My worst is when I become preoccupied with my "image" - how I look, how people see me and when I feel stressed and out of control.  I know I need to hand this over to Christ but I'm having a difficult time doing that now.  I know who I want to be and how to be that... but the work - the sacrifice and the suffering - seem more than I can give right now.  I know that that feeling - the feeling of some task being beyond my resources - is really a very special opportunity to trust completely in the power of Christ's saving love.      

I know I must die to have life.  Christ please give me the grace to die the deaths I must die to truly be a follower of You.  I want to be close to You only.  Hold me in your Sacred Heart and let me respond to Your words alone.

Edited to add... Can you tell I need a spiritual director??  It's extremely difficult to find one! :)

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