Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best Christmas Gift...Tears!

As a child I always loved God. I remember understanding the Real Presence at a very young age, having a devotion to the Rosary and an appreciation for the Church. In my early twenties I really began to learn my faith and fell deeply in love. There were many, many years that God & I were really tight. I felt his presence with me all the time. There were so many times during the day that I would be moved to tears by His power and majesty and goodness. I learned that there were many saints that suffered years of spiritual dryness. I felt so sorry for them. My faith wasn't based on feelings, yet how sad it must be to not feel His presence, for faith and the practice thereof to be a purely intellectual pursuit, largely an act of the will.
And then it was all taken away. My tears were gone. It wasn't for a lack of belief, or prayer, or love at all, I was still doing everything I always had, the "feeling" was just sucked out of me. I kept soldiering on. Even thanking God for this opportunity to suffer for Him. As weeks and months grew into years prayer became increasingly difficult. It "felt" like I was just flapping my lips (something that I'm so very good at) for no real purpose. I taught my children about God's love and the fact that He is always with us and is waiting for us always to talk to Him. Though I know it is true, the words seemed hollow. I even prayed occasionally for the feeling to come back, to no avail. I eventually accepted it as my lot in life, noting that I was in the company of some of the greatest saints was small comfort.
In the good and the bad my faith never waived, it was just so very, very dry. In the past couple years, which have been so very difficult, my active prayer has increased, so I assumed that the feelings would come rushing back...not! God's goodness has been so evident in our lives, He has taken perfect care of us, but still no tears, for good or bad.
#1 is now actively discerning his vocation. God has been chasing him down all his life and he has gone back and forth as to what he wants to do. Sometimes he has been drawn to the priesthood, but he wants to be married and have a family. A couple months ago he met with Fr. Paul Sullivan about discernment and he has been doing the things he advised. He is so much more content now than he ever has been in his life. There is a peace about him that is amazing. On Christmas Day #1 told me that he is going in the seminary. He and God had a talk about it during Mass and this is what he needs to do.
And the flood gates opened.
It wasn't immediate, the boy dropped this news on me as we were walking in to the movie theater to watch Puss in Boots! But God is back, I feel Him all around me again, I get teary eyed over the least little thing. Now I do realize that this is a new thing and may not last, but I am so very grateful for it and will savor it as long as it lasts. The tears are as big a miracle for me as my boy wanting to be a priest.

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