Friday, August 29, 2014
What to Do when One Keeps Stumbling?
Raising children is a challenge. At least for my part I find myself with times of little patience and plenty of frustration. As with many things such times of struggle seem to go in waves. Times when things seem to be going pretty well at least with one child and then something begins with another. It is such times when I wonder why the Lord called me to work with children. From my vantage point I have encountered so many wonderful mothers.
It is at such low moments that I consider from my position that at least I will not be drawn to judge other parents as I find myself lacking in so many ways. The asisitance of Our Blessed Mother has been a source of considerable help as I frequently ask her to help me be a better mother and also ask her to help make up for that which is lacking in me.
Through these frequent stumbles there is a place that offers additional grace and strength. It is the confessional. While some may advise monthly confession I seem to find myself seeking the sacrament weekly. Some may think this is excessive. Yet the more one wants to draw closer to Our Lord the more sensitive one becomes to the barrier sin presents in hearing His whisper. Some years ago while reading the book Interior Castles by St. Teresa of Avila I was struck by her description of sin and how it obscures the inner light of Our Lord within us. As more sin accumulates especially mortal sin it is as though a blanket is put over the inner light of our soul. "No night can be so dark, no gloom nor blackness can compare to its obscurity. Suffice it to say that the sun in the centre of the soul, which gave it such splendour and beauty, is totally eclipsed, though the spirit is as fitted to enjoy God's presence as is the crystal to reflect the sun" (Intererior Castles).
While a soul in a state of grace is desribed by St. Teresa, "In a state of grace the soul is like a well of limpid water, from which flow only streams of clearest crystal. Its works are pleasing both to God and man, rising from the River of Life, beside which it is rooted like a tree". (Interior Castles)
As with many of us we only want to be doing what is pleasing to Our Lord and in keeping with His Will. But in order to hear His direction in all things one must be free of the fog of sin which serves to muffle that which Our Lord is trying to convey to us. So in this way there is always a desire within to seek out this wonderful sacrament to keep wiping away any fog that roles in as a result of our weakness.
St. Faustina in her diary includes the following "Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the Sacrament of Reconcilliation] There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimate or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one's misery, and the miracels of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated." (Diary 1148)