For those of us who feel particularly hurt by our loved ones' lack of faith (or anti-faith stance), God has recently brought home to me that it is NOT about *us*. It is not a threat to our personhood or our self-worth (or theirs either, for that matter) that they do not believe. The journey they take is up to them in some ways, and also up to God. The fact that all our behavioral and spiritual machinations have, seemingly, had no affect, means, essentially, nothing. We do not control things. We do not decide when to drop something onto the timeline of someone's life.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it may be that God is deciding to drop something into our own lives that we don't particularly like. It may be for our own humility that we feel surrounded by people who hate something so dear to us.
Cling to the Church. Use God's way of spiritual self-discipline to keep what self-focus there is focused on imitating Christ as closely as possible. Give up trying to control things that are only up to God.
It is not about us.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Sunday, May 9, 2010
At first, Monica refused to let Augustine into her home. Then, after a vision saying that Augustine would eventually return to the faith, and after encouragement by her bishops, Monica decided to take another tack and stay close to Augustine, praying and fasting for him.
Augustine converted after years of prayer and fasting on the part of Monica.
St. Monica, beg Our Lord to give us the strength to follow your example.
Monday, February 22, 2010
And pray ye without ceasing, in behalf of other men. For there is in them hope of repentance that they may attain to God. See then, that they be instructed by your works if in no other way. Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting. To their blasphemies, return your prayers, in contrast to their error, be ye steadfast in the faith, and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness.
-St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I am deeply grieved, brethren for (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be ye then moderate in regard to this matter, and "do not count such as enemies" but call them back as suffering and straying members, that ye may save your whole body. For by so acting, ye shall edify yourselves.
-From the Epistle of Saint Polycarp to the Phillipians
Shunning, as done in some communities goes against this directive from Polycarp. "Do not count such as enemies," in quotes by Polycarp, shows that this was taught even prior to this early time. We are to swallow our own pride and use these difficult situations as an offering to God for our own humility and others' conversion.