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

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Mystery Present

"The only possibility of real freedom is the recognition of the Mystery present." (Fr. Julián Carrón, Disarming Beauty)

I am encouraged as I step into this new year, and believe it is not by accident that God has put me where He has in this moment. The recent stirrings of my heart combined with the introspection and goal setting that is common to this time of year have been for me a blessing, and an opportunity to reawaken to life, to live intentionally.

I have long desired to write more, but the practice of actually doing so a few days ago (instead of just giving up, as has been too often the case in recent months) opened up to me the possibility of reflection, in a way I have not been in the habit of doing for quite some time, at least not in the moment. Through that event (which I detailed here, if you are interested), I could see the effect of taking a moment to invite Christ into a challenging moment as it is occurring, how He changes things and makes them new. It helped me to go forward desiring to face every situation in my life, good or bad, in the same way.

And so today, two days later, I find myself in throws of daily life. And while I had not planned on posting today, I did notice there was a difference in how I faced my life. I can only attribute to having been loved through a challenge before, and therefore desiring to be loved again. It has not been a particularly easy day, the baby has been clingy, I have a stubborn plugged milk duct, and the plans I had for being productive around the home are just not being accomplished. And through it all the kids being kids meant there was no shortage of opportunities for frustration! Yet the memory of being met once before, of knowing how having my gaze fixed on Christ introduces joy to even the most frustrating circumstances (and helps me to see my children not as interruptions or problems, but with love) helped me to call on Him again today, in many moments. This simple fact has been the single biggest conversion in my life over the past several years: that Christ is an event that happens to me now, that changes my life now, over and over again. And that in order to live His grace more fully in my life, I have to ask continuously, all the time.

So many times I feel trapped by my circumstances, unable to get ahead, like I’m working in vain. So this quote I read this morning, “The only possibly of real freedom is the recognition of the Mystery present,” really resonates with me today because I can see how just by calling on Him, all of a sudden I am free. I still have the same duties, the same demands on my time, the same limitations I faced before, but I am not a slave to them. Calling on Christ and allowing Him to respond through me brings gladness to even the most seemingly desperate circumstances. It is, as the great apostle Paul speaks of in Philippians 4:7, that “peace that passes all understanding”. I don’t know how a person can be happy in the midst of such chaos, I have spent years trying and failing to do it on my own. But I also can see how a small moment of awareness in Christ causes all of it to melt away, and transforms how I see my life. This is true freedom, because then I’m not snarky or irritable. I am free to be with my children, free to enter into my life diligently and with focus, not resigned to my inability but hopeful that with Christ I can do it, and do it with joy.

This is the promise of the Mystery who is always present to me. My prayer in this new year is that I will learn how to call on Him more and more in my everyday life.

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