Tuesday, October 22, 2019

As We Cry Out

We may offer ourselves to God with all our potential, goods, talents, friends– and in return expect a certain recompense from him, for example, that he would give us “wisdom” or perseverance in faith or love. But this would be only an imaginary justice, a kind of pact we set up between us and God, existing only in our own head.
God may not wish to enter into such an arrangement, and so we may very well find that rather than marching forward to ever greater heights of spiritual perfection he instead leaves us in unrest, dryness, darkness and anxiety. If this were to happen, we must know that although this wholly imaginary justice was not fulfilled, God is not ignoring us, or acting arbitrarily, but is very much at work in us fulfilling a much higher justice between us and God. We might have thought that we had given ourselves, but now find ourselves standing before God with empty hands. But this is precisely where God wants us. Although we may not see the gift God gives in return, it doesn’t mean gifts haven’t been given. In fact, we can be sure they have been bestowed on us in the only way God gives - without measure. As long as we stand, as Moses did during the battle, with empty hands raised to God, awaiting whatever he wishes to give, on his terms we will find that we are winning the battle. Our just God is with us, beating down our spiritual foes and leading us to victory. 

We never have a right to expect something definite from God, because all his gifts simply lie beyond what we can grasp, define or determine. What God wants from us is a complete offering of self without conditions. We are to place ourselves wholly at his disposal and let him take what he needs. And for his part he gives everything -  all that is according to his intention. He gives this everything as he wishes, and that means precisely not as human beings expect it, because our human expectation is always conditioned by our nature, our sin, and our very limited perspective. Our expectation ought to be to expect nothing definite. If we really love God, we will expect everything of him, even though we see nothing. Again, what God expects of us nothing other than total consent, total readiness to everything that God should ask. 

Let us then cry out like the widow to our just God to send his Spirit to free us from our adversary, from everything in us that would keep us from this readiness to receive from him who is always ready to bestow on us every good thing; that when he comes he may find faith on earth. 

Photograph by Brother Anthony Kahan. Meditation by Father Timothy.