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"Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." – Luke 2:19 (RSV)

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obedience

Boredom is a spiritual problem

Pope Francis saints.png

True obedience to the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and morals, does not make one rigid or oppressed, but faithful and free. Yes, free, in the same way that the bird is free to fly in the sky above because it obeys the laws of aerodynamics.

womb and the cloud

Dr. Peter Kreeft said in one of his presentations that “boredom is a spiritual problem”. I agree with him.

I have noticed that before my conversion a couple of months ago (when I read ‘a Story of a Soul’), I was very frequently bored. Sure, the demands of medical school filled my time but once I got free time to myself, I was more often than not bored. It wasn’t that I didn’t do anything with my free time, I often spent it in entertaining myself with movies and books, with learning a new language or playing games with my husband. Without our Blessed Lord as the center of my life, all these earthly pleasure tasted like ash in my mouth. While my pursuit of pleasure was enjoyable it wasn’t fulfilling and the restlessness of my heart never went away.

After my conversion, I have been increasingly striving to become a saint (not necessarily a formally recognized one, recognition by the Church doesn’t mean anything to me). This means that I accept as my vocation the journey of sanctification, to be united with our Blessed Lord, for that is what we are designed for. Since that day, the only boring moments that I experience are those times where I take my eyes of our Blessed Lord and turn my gaze back towards myself.

Ever since I met God I wasn’t able to enjoy my favorite things in the same way. Before I knew God, they were everything to me. They were all I had. But now they were no longer ends in themselves, but pleasant occupations along a journey to a bigger destination.

– Sr. Helena Burns

Accepting the journey of sanctification as my vocation has been such a great adventure that is always interesting and captivating and not at all boring. Boredom only comes when I turn towards my own ego and away from Christ.

I think that boredom in this life is a foretaste of hell where souls are eternally bored and possibly driven mad by it.

 

 

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Love and sorrow

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Ah, Lord God, my holy Lover, when You come into my heart, all that is within me will rejoice. You are my glory and the exultation of my heart. You are my hope and refuge in the day of my tribulation. But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline. Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within, I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere…

The noble love of Jesus spurs to great deeds and excites longing for that which is more perfect. Love tends upward; it will not be held down by anything low. Love wishes to be free and estranged from all worldly affections, lest its inward sight be obstructed, lest it be entangled in any temporal interest and overcome by adversity…

One who is in love flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free, not bound…

Love is never self-seeking, for in whatever a person seeks himself there he falls from love…

there is no living in love without sorrow. He who is not ready to suffer all things and to stand resigned to the will of the Beloved is not worthy to be called a lover. A lover must embrace willingly all that is difficult and bitter for the sake of the Beloved, and he should not turn away from Him because of adversities.

– Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

In recent times, the Lord has been changing my heart and shaping my soul. In a span of a few very short weeks, my heart and what it desires has been dramatically changed. The progress and change is so quick that I am still adjusting to it.

As my soul is progressively reordered towards God, I feel an increasing sense of loneliness. It is so difficult to express what my soul experiences without the Lord’s help.

As I am changing, I grow to understand my husband more and more. I see with new eyes now. I can now appreciate more fully his wisdom and love of God.

Today I was crying out in sorrow to my Lord Jesus. I felt so lonely to the point of physical pain. My husband knew this and commanded me to go take a walk in the sun to clear my head. I didn’t believe that it would help at the time but I obeyed him anyways. To my great delight, my husband surprised me by joining me.

We took a short 10 minute walk to our Parish which has a tabernacle. The Church was locked so we sat at its gate; it was as close as we could get to the tabernacle which contains the Blessed Sacrament. All the time, my husband spoke to me and engaged me in a loving conversation about matters of God.

I learnt many things today. I learnt that my husband understands me more than I thought he did. I learnt that he loves me beyond my comprehension. I learnt that my purpose as a wife is to push my husband towards God, and his purpose as a husband is to push me towards the Lord. I learnt that I am not alone because we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses in heaven and on earth. Most of all, I am not alone because the Lord is all I need and He will never leave me.

Obedience

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Sometimes I get very upset about the disorder in the world. It is everywhere whether people recognise it or not. I get enraged by it and want to do something about it. Then I realise that my own will will accomplish nothing, and it is only God’s will that will bear lasting fruit.

Instead of discouraging me or making me despondent, this fact allows me to relax because I understand that everything is in God’s hands. All I have to be concerned about is obeying my Lord as best I can. If my Lord wants me to do something, He will make it clear to me. I just have to be attentive to Him. If my Lords invites me to participate in His work, He will give me the strength to do it. All I have to do is rely completely on Him.

I am continually amazed by the parallels between the relationship God calls me to have with Him and the relationship I have with my husband.

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