Monday, December 14, 2020

Your Ways O Lord, Make Known to Me

“Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; ​teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, ​for you are God my savior.” Psalm 25:4-5

I love reading about the saints, ordinary men and women who were able to love and obey God in an extraordinary way. It gives me hope that it is indeed possible to follow Jesus through the narrow road. Every day is a new opportunity to try harder, to make better decisions, to be more disciplined, to grow closer to God. If God does not give up hope on us, why should we give up hope on ourselves? 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church. He came from a very poor family, his father died when he was but three years old, his older brother died of malnutrition, and as a child, St. John was put in a boarding school for poor orphans. In spite of such an unpromising beginning, God had great plans for the boy, and he had religious leanings even when he was young. He attended a Jesuit school, and in 1563 he joined the Carmelite Order. He attended the university in Salamanca, and studied theology and philosophy. 

At a time when the Church forbade the translation of the Bible from Latin, he took it upon himself to translate the Song of Songs into Spanish, his native tongue. That was the kind of man he was. When he was 25 years old, he met St.Teresa of Avila. Both of them worked to reform the Carmelite order which had become lax and departed from the original, strict rule and regimen. This resulted in his trial for disobedience, and his subsequent imprisonment in a dark narrow cell for nine months. They wanted to kill his spirit, instead his spirit flamed into new life in the dark of imprisonment. During this time he had many beautiful encounters with God which he wrote about in poetry on scraps smuggled in by the friar tasked to guard him. 

He wrote through the years, “Silence is God’s first language...In the inner stillness where meditation leads, the Spirit secretly anoints the soul and heals our deepest wounds.... The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light...Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love....In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God....In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.”

In the dark cell, when St. John was ‘alone’, he was not really alone. God was with him, like a flame in the silence. When we feel most alone and in despair, we must learn to seek God for He is surely there.

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I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy