As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Monday, January 15, 2018

Steal Away

I mentioned previously that another one of my goals this year is to be faithful to alone time, and this specifically for me, is alone time with Christ.  Just prior to Christmas my husband graciously offered to allow one night a week for me to have to myself.  Since quiet time is elusive for me,  I have chosen to spend this night at our nearby church in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and tonight is the first night in a very long time that I have been able to come.  It is so, so good for my heart.

As I sat in silent prayer, I began to reconnect with an old friend, St. John of the Cross, whose famous “Dark Night of the Soul” speaks of a lover sneaking off into the night while his house is asleep, in search of his beloved.  While my house was quite the opposite of asleep when I left, I nevertheless feel a kinship to him, since I too had to sneak away.  Sitting before the tabernacle I understood so well just how hard it is to make time for the Lord, and indeed sometimes I do just have to steal away, to take a break from all that is going on (even if it’s just momentary) so that I can be there, just He and I.  

I remember enthusiastically discussing this with a dear and sage friend after reading “Dark Night of the Soul” and saying, “Oh, how I want to have that kind of communion with God!” To which my friend wisely responded, “You have to remember, very few people are called to be mystics.” And it’s so true.  I can see and value the beauty of that life, while obviously understanding I will never be able to cloister myself from the world. And yet somehow this evening, sitting along with Christ after making a journey in the dark through the night to get here, I feel a little more mystic than I did yesterday.  I understand that in this way, Christ has given me a mystic’s heart.  And because of that, in order to escape the noise, sometimes I need to get out, to search for Him in the quiet that is nonexistent in my home.

This theme of stealing away has permeated the first couple weeks of the new year for me.  I read tonight in our readings for School of Community about how Christ’s gaze does not change our interests immediately; rather, “what changes first is that we are aware of His presence.”  For me this has happened through the seemingly smallest of things - stealing away from the housework to spend time with older (and sometimes neglected) older children.  Stealing away from the suppertime and bedtime routine after being out all day to spend precious rare quiet time with the Lord.  

What most strikes me is when Fr. CarrĂ³n speaks of how we know a formalism has set into our lives. “It is just as easy to realize when (the event of Christ) does not happen in our days: everything becomes flat and formal, and gladness disappears.”  Because formalism has been a crutch for me for so, so long!  But in these past few weeks, I have seen new life breathed into the everyday, I have seen the return of a gladness long absent.  This evening before the Blessed Sacrament I felt my heart singing, drawn to Christ as my beloved, like the blessed Saint wrote so many centuries ago, stealing off into the night. This dark night is in a thousand ways a blessing, because it connects me to Christ in a way I have yearned for for so, so long!  And it was the craziness of life that drove me to this, it took a breaking point, a personal “cracking” and the feeling that everything was crashing in on me before I dared venture out.  Praise the Lord that He knows how to penetrate the walls of my formalism and remind my heart that there is still a youthful, romantic, anything-but-formal desire for Him residing there!

No comments :

Post a Comment