Mattehw 6:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.“
It was a rough night Lord. Now that I look back on it, I can visualize your being there, watching me, waiting for me to continue fighting the enemy. You knew who would win. You will win every time with me. I just didn’t know it. I let him have a foothold because I was tired. My prayers with you were different than what was being asked, yet no one was forcing me saying I had to do it this way or else. I looked at the assignment as an assault on my intimacy with you instead of as a quiet leading. The facilitators did not know the methodology or practice of 47 people in the room; they were only looking to help us be led into conversation with you.
A reading assignment – Ignatius’ document on prayer brought me deeper into desolation. Did I give you time in my prayer or was it all me talking, telling you about me? What about the time we had together, was it just me going off on a prideful act or real prayer? You know it just set me off. Then when I read the scripture for today the enemy threw me the knock-out punch. Was this writing I am doing a self-righteous deed? What did I really hope to gain from it? There certainly are many gifted writers and bloggers in the world, why would it need me – unskilled but passionate? How could I think my writing would be that interesting? Was I doing it to please you or the world? Couldn’t I just pray like others quietly reflecting and writing a few words and just be with you? Well, yes, I could do those things. There have been times I’ve sat in the dark before dawn and just was there with you. But it wasn’t often. I got scared Lord. Scared I was moving away from you. That I was walking down a slippery slope of pride. You watched me get up from my bed where I had been reading and search in my drawer for the little crucifix so I could hold you in my hand. Little Hunter had the one I usually had by the bed. I held you firmly. You heard me telling Satan to leave, that I was renouncing him and I prayed to St. Michael, more than once. You watched my tears fall Lord and I felt so lost, so helpless and alone. But I held that image of you tightly, as if my life depended on it. I was not going without a fight. I curled up and was frozen in my thoughts. I fell asleep. You let all this happen. Did I take things too much for granted? Did I need to really be aware of what I was doing? It didn’t matter. You were there, and knew. You would tell me when I was ready.
As I sat in my prayer chair in the morning, I just looked at you. And you looked back at me, looking at you. You know we did this for an hour? I was questioning so much. Why did I doubt my efforts? I told you how much I loved writing and felt it could be a tool for others who were open to be with you. It never was about drawing them to me; always to you Father, not to me. So that they could be one with you too. I heard you tell me about Rule 5. Don’t change anything. Then at Mass, Father G spoke the questions into my heart; were my prayers meant for the world or for you? And would I be willing to close the door and say them in silence? Was my writing prideful and if so, was this the time for you to stop me from my sinfulness? Were you moving to perfect me to a greater union with you?
When I came back from Mass, I debated on who if anyone I should share this with. Like last night when I debated on calling someone. More tactics of the enemy – isolate her. But I didn’t this time. You led me to the right person, my spiritual director. Even though we are new to each other, she reached out and affirmed me, like you knew she would. It’s not from you if it causes me anxiety and fear! Don’t change. Get rest and don’t overthink. And then we talked about your grace all day. I was able to understand so much more of how you created ME, for this time, and to be in this place. I am not in control. I am not leading my life. I am in you and your grace is sufficient for me. It always has been, always will be. Lies will come again; but before then I will seek your grace to shore up my walls and defenses. I will listen for your invitation to truth; truth that I am loved. It is a great release for me to try to write and pray as one with you.
Thank you for all those you have placed in my path these days. Thank you for their prayers for me to draw close and listen to you. They are beautiful souls willing to be your servants. I am humbled to be a part of this group of women and men giving of themselves for your service. I am humbled to let you to lead me in the many ways of being in prayer with you.
Today I see I am not able to be anything except free falling with your grace. Jesus, I truly trust in you. Help me to cooperate with you every day, in whatever way you choose. Show me Lord, I am yours.