Monday, February 20, 2006

Credo in unum deum

I was talking to a friend about this stuff and I said I was afraid that I might make the wrong choice, and specifically that I might end up crawling back to the comfort of old familiar Catholic ways when maybe this was God's way of shaking me up, yanking away my security blanket and freeing me to move on to something different. She said maybe it was God's way of giving me a chance to act on what I really believe.

Funny thing, but that isn't how I've been approaching the problem. I've been asking myself, where do I find God, or, where is God leading me? I haven't started by asking myself what I really believe.

I suppose that's because I never found it easy to sign on to believing the whole Catholic thing, anyway. Like most Catholics, or at least like most of those I know, I found ways to live with the disharmony of believing certain things in my own heart while the Church is teaching something contradictory. I did it by living by the heart, letting my love for God and my desire to live closer to God be the main thing, and letting thinking about God be a little less important. And the funny thing is that by living and praying like a Catholic I was coming closer and closer to being at peace with it all, so that I grew more and more comfortable and certain about reciting the creed at Mass, which was something I had done almost with my fingers crossed when I was younger.

And then suddenly, bang, out the door ... and off to another church where it turns out they recite the same creed.

But I when I say those words now, I don't know what they're supposed to mean. I don't know what I believe. I'm trying to get to God, that's all I know. I'm trying to get settled in that quiet, non-verbal place at the center of myself and ask God what He wants from me. Is that the right way to approach this, I wonder--and if so, why am I having such a hard time hearing what (if anything) He's trying to say to me?


At 4:13 PM, Blogger Stephie said...

Wow, C. So much of what you have written in the past week resonates in my heart in such a profound way.

You are hungry for God. Can I just say that your hunger for Him is such a blessing to read about? It is so encouraging! The verse in Matt. 5:6 comes to mind: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled."

I see (from what you have written so far) that this season you are entering or are already in is kind of a wilderness one. You seem a little confused, a little lost, a little unsure (maybe a lot, I just don't want to be presumptuous since we don't know each other)...

In this season, though, be encouraged! Hunger for the Lord, even during confusing times, is such a gift. He is so delighted in your hunger for Him because it means that He can encounter you and fascinate you with who He is and satisfy that longing for Him in your heart.

Would you consider something? That your highest calling is not to do good things for God, but to know Him, to BE with Him (see Luke 10:38-41, Martha and Mary of Bethany). If this strikes a chord in your heart, the idea of being with Him, I recommend sometime soon just spending a half hour or so alone in a quiet place with your Bible, a notepad, and a pen. Take whatever posture is conducive to you staying awake :), and just ask the Lord for some simple things. 1) "Lord, I want to know You. I am hungry to know You. What does that mean? What does it look like? Help!" 2) "Lord, please help me understand how You feel about me. I want to know what Your love for me feels like." Look at Eph. 3:16-19 and ask the Lord to make those verses a reality in your heart, that you would "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ..."
3) Ask the Lord to help you hear His voice, and ask Him if there is anything He wants to tell you.

Ask, and then just wait. For the most part, be still and be quiet. Write down thoughts that come to mind. If unconfessed sin comes to mind, confess it to Him and repent. If a verse comes to mind, open your Bible and read it. If you can fit this into your daily schedule, do it. It's worth it!

I promise, getting to God is not impossible. :) Spend time with Him, asking Him who He is and asking for Him to reveal Himself to you, and He will do so, because He longs to capture and fascinate your heart.

Jer. 29:13 -- "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart."

He can be found! And I am confident that you will find Him!

Drop me a line sometime and let me know how it goes for you (should you feel so inclined).

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Widening Circles said...

Stephie, thanks for this. I really appreciate it and I find it very helpful.


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