Monday, March 4, 2013
Serving Him "Without Manna & Without Water" By: C.C.
"Do not get upset about the dryness and coldness you are suffering; be consoled in the depths of your heart, remembering the words of our Lord, "How blest are the poor in spirit...Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness..." [Mt. 5:3-6] How happy you should be to serve God in the desert, without manna and without water, consoled only by the fact that He is guiding you and you are suffering for Him." (St. Francis De Sales)
As our spiritual journey moves from consolation to desolation and vice versa, we can often become tired, exhausted, and quite frankly feel that we are "running on empty". It is a battle that presses us beyond the physical measure and into one much more complex. In these moments we are called to "remember the words of our Lord", we are led to reflect upon His promises-- recognizing the blessing in having this hunger and thirst for God to begin with. We can find a resting place amidst all of this through a total surrender to God and His will. Accepting even this temporary time in the "desert without manna and without water" as a blessing.
Discomfort undoubtedly arises as we are faced with a secular world ready to "gratify" us with promises of pleasure, freedom, and of an "easy" escape. Somehow there is Something that keeps us awake and attentive to the quiet whisper of our Lord. Through faith we carry on. Even when wounded, we still make our way through the desert.
The Christian journey today may not lead us through the same desert that Jesus and his followers would have walked. For us, the desert that we may travel is one within our very own heart, our work places, or our family life. Do we reach out to The Lord through our desert experiences recognizing this as our suffering for Him?
The journey calls for steadfast persistent prayer through all of our circumstances. It calls us to persevere through emotional anguish, recognizing their instability as stumbling blocks to seeking God's will for our lives. As Christians we understand that our true joy and peace is reserved for us in Heaven. It is fitting then that while we live on earth we are faced with challenges, persecution, and often desolation. We must all walk the desert if we long to follow Christ. Consolation can never be constant- this does not mean that we may never know joy on earth, but it does give us the ability to see the gift of our faithful service to Him until we are truly Home. In this way we remain in prayer, hopeful that even amidst our earthly anguish and desert journey that He is with us. The Lord has sent down the Holy Spirit aiding us in prayer and comforting us along the path.
In all of our moments may we remain steadfast in prayer with the conviction that He indeed hears us, loves us, and journeys with us. Amen (C.C.)