“According to St. Thomas Aquinas, in its effect on us, despair, the abandonment of hope, is the gravest of sins. It is the devil’s chief weapon of attack. As Chesterton’s Father Brown says to Arnold Aylmer when he receives a deaththreat: ‘These devils always try to make us helpless by making us hopeless.'” (John Saward)
This is for all of you who struggle with a positive image of yourselves, finding it hard to believe that God could love you.
When you have an inferiority complex–and who of us hasn’t–you say things like, “I just don’t believe that what God made is good. Look at me. I’m a louse.” Don’t dare to challenge God like this. Everything he made is good, including yourself. Don’t listen to that serpent who is giving you apples that look red on the outside and are full of inferiority complexes on the inside. Don’t eat that apple, or else you are going to go down into a pit prepared by Satan for you for your whole life.
How can you have a wrong image of something or someone that God touched? God touched you and he created you. You passed through his mind and you were begotten. Anyone of us that passes through God’s mind, anyone of us that God touched, cannot be this horrible person we think we are. No! Each one of us is beautiful–we’re beautiful because he touched us.
Sometimes this is very difficult for us to accept. We look at ourselves and say, “He made us in his image, equal to himself in a manner of speaking, heir to his Son? This just can’t be. He hasn’t looked into my heart. he doesn’t know what I’m made of!” We say those silly things because our evaluation of ourselves is very poor. We haven’t looked at ourselves with the merciful, tender, compassionate eyes of God. So we walk in despair half the time. As a result, the ability to realize that God is both in our midst and in us–a realization that is the fruit of faith–fades and disappears.
This is the main reason, it seems to me, why the Father sent his Son to us, why the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us as one of us. The Father, having given us the fantastic gift of faith, wanted to help us accept this awesome gift. He sent his Son Jesus Christ so that we, unbelieving, might believe. We are like children; we need to touch.
Every human being is a mystery. The mystery of man enters into the mystery of God, and bursting forth with great joy, comes faith and understanding. When faith is there, all is clear, and a love relation with God enters into your heart. When you have faith, it is such a simple thing to accept his love, even if you do not understand why he loves you. (Catherine de Hueck Doherty)
Praying for you that you have faith in His love for you.
Pointing you over to A Holy Experience today:
He points a finger at me, shakes it like a wand, like a prayer, like shaking me awake.
“I need to talk with you.”
Gordon’s on his tiptoes, looking for me through the lunch crowd, punctuating each word high in the air with his left pointer finger. “I’ve got a question for you.” He’s stabbing the air. I feel poked in the chest, pushed up against the back of my chair. I reach for water, something to wet a thick, scratchy throat.
A question? What kind of question? Why ask me a question? How can he ask anything of me — and think he’d get anything worthwhile?
I live in the curve of questions, sheltered under and arch of mystery, all my declarative periods couched with a questioning mark.
I know little and answers elude me and my world is wide expanses of wondering andseeking is the way I find my way. Gordon’s scanning to see if there’s an empty chair at my table.
He’s carrying his plate high, his lunch, a green salad, a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans. I lay down my fork, all those tines.
“But…” Can he hear me over this din? “I won’t have answers.”
You can read the rest here.
“O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading on dry land, if you do not want to founder in the tempest, do not avert your eyes from the brightness of this star. When the wind of temptation blows up within you, when you strike upon the rock of temptation, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. Whether you are being tossed about by the waves of pride or ambition or slander or jealousy, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. When rage or greed or fleshly desires are battering the skiff of your soul, gaze up at Mary. When the immensity of your sins weighs you down and you are bewildered by the loathsomeness of your conscience, when the terrifying thought of judgment appalls you and you begin to founder in the gulf of sadness and despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in hardships, in every doubt, think of Mary, call out to Mary. Keep her in your mouth, keep her in your heart. Follow the example of her life and you will obtain the favor of her prayer. Following her, you will never go astray. Asking her help, you will never despair. Keeping her in your thoughts, you will never wander away. With your hand in hers, you will never stumble. With her protecting you, you will not be afraid. With her leading you, you will never tire. Her kindness will see you through.” (Bernard of Clairvaux}
One of the Lenten quotes hanging on the walls in our convent:
“Cast away that despair produced by the realization of your weakness. It’s true: financially you are a zero, and socially another zero, and another in virtue, and another in talent . . . But to the left of these zeros is Christ . . . and what an immeasurable figure it turns out to be.” (St. Josemaría Escrivá)
Reblogged from Mary Ann Morgan:
It was one of those days. I never saw the ledge, but I surely stepped off and fell right into the darkness. I am surprised by these dark days and I am grateful that they are more the exception and not the rule anymore. For a brief period of my life, they were my normal. For a season — an awful season — I found myself swirling, spiraling into the blackness every day.
If this is something you know well, I am so sorry. Here are some things I have learned to do when these days come.
1. Rest. Sometimes I just need to pull back from the stresses of life and rest. Giving myself permission to take a nap or a walk instead of working incessantly can do wonders for me.
2. Remember. This is just a day. This will not last forever. I remember God’s goodness in my life and ask for his perspective. Mine is obviously skewed and I need to know things from his point of view. Counting gifts does wonders for the heart.
3. Reach out. When I am feeling this way, the last thing I want to do is reach out to my friends. I don’t know why we are like this. Maybe pride? Fear? I have to remind myself of the times others have reached out to me in need and how it endeared them to me. We love to help others. Why would I deny someone the joy of being my friend when I need them?
It’s days like this I miss my daddy most. I just want to call him and hear his voice again. “Hey Mary Babe” he would always say. He was always so glad to hear my voice. I loved chatting with him about the flowers. He was a gardener and we shared a love for planting things. He would always tell me what was coming up in his yard. The tulips I planted for him are coming up around my birdhouse now. I just want to tell him about them, “Dad, I planted Tulips for you. They are red, your favorite color.”
I miss my dad, and it’s okay to cry about it. I think I can finally do that.
If you have had a hard day, or a bad week, my heart aches for you. I think we go through things sometimes just so we can be a better friend to others. Compassion sews threads of kindness into the lives of others. We cannot have it if we have not experienced pain of some sort in our own lives. Know this: God is with you and he loves you dearly. He is present with you and he will give you just what you need. You are not alone. Ever.
Psalm 34:4-7 ~
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.”
Reblogging from Ann Voskamp this morning: When You’re This Close to Giving Up Hope Just a reminder that He’s always, always near. Hold on.
Especially for those in desperation . . . this song by Audrey Assad is for you. (Lyrics below) Just reach out your hand . . .
You’ve been let down, it’s true
Your pain is so easy to see
You’re hunted by your history
and it feels like you’ve got no escape
Your life left you high and dry
You used to be sure of yourself
But then your whole world went to hell
and tomorrow looks like just like today
So, you lie on your bed, you won’t let the morning come in
And you hide in your room, feeding that fear and it’s killing you
don’t you know
that it’s killing me too, cause your heart break is breaking you
I miss the life in your eyes
the home that I found in your arms
and now you don’t know who you are
but I won’t give up on you
You lie on your bed, you wont let the morning come in
And you hide in your room, feeding that fear and it’s killing
don’t you know
that i’ts killing me too, cause your heart break is breaking you
and you lost your fight
and your flame’s gone out
and you’re down on your knees
cause your life is not what you thought it would be
lift up your head
help is on the way
and it won’t pass you by
you just gotta reach out your hand
lift up your eyes
love is on the way
and it won’t pass you by
you just gotta reach out your hand
go on and lift up your head
because love is on its way
and it won’t pass you by
you’ve just gotta reach out your hand
“When people are making demands on you and you feel drained and empty; when you have to speak and you have not had the time you wanted to prepare; when God calls you to a task for which you know yourself inadequate; when you feel humiliated and foolish because some undertaking in which you did your honest best has turned out disastrously–then it may be, to your astonishment, someone will tell you that you helped most, did your most fruitful work. When our ego is humbled and not obstructing, God’s creative Spirit can often have freer play. Like the bare trees, it may be that we allow the glory to shine through at these times more purely than in our summer prosperity.” (Maria Boulding)