Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Mystery of Love

I can't believe it's been two weeks since retreat! Which means a.) I've been BUSY. b.) I haven't even really begun to unpack all that was retreat. Yikes!

Enter Valentine's Day :) The day we naturally turn our minds towards love.

This is NOT going to be lonely hearts post 'cause I've DONE THAT.

I'm in a different place this year. God has been very faithful.

I'm still "living the mystery" (which I also just realized I wrote in the month of February last year. Something to be said for those seasonal cycles!) but I think I'm content with it, for the most part.

Also, the readings for this Sunday are very different than the twisted, cycnical ones I rejoiced in last year. They are mysterious...and also kind of hopeful. Yeah! :)

The first reading is from Sirach (note: I just taught about deuterocanonical books so Sirach is fresh in my mind. Win!):

If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Immense is the wisdom of the Lord;he is mighty in power, and all-seeing.
The eyes of God are on those who fear him;he understands man’s every deed.
No one does he command to act unjustly,to none does he give license to sin.

Okay, so maybe this isn't uber mysterious, but there is a mystery to choice and free will. My students often ask, why did God give us free will if He knows we are going to mess up? I always answer them with, "well how many of you like to be forced to do something? Didn't think so. Aren't things much more special when you choose?" Answer: yes.

God gives us free will out of his immense love for us. Score 1 point for the goodness of retreat!

Okay, next up- my man, St. Paul (henceforth, MMSP):

Brothers and sisters: We speak a wisdom to those who are mature,not a wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.
Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden,
which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,
and which none of the rulers of this age knew;
or, if they had known it,they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written:What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,
this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God

Um, what was that St. Paul? I don't quite follow you. We speak a wisdom but not one of this age? Nor of dead guys? Then of who?! Oh, right, Jesus.

But this kind of goes with the question my students ask: "if God knew from before time He would have to save us, then why didn't he....(insert this, that or the other here)"

Again, the answer: Love. (And the light of the Holy Spirit! The Sanctifier #FTW. Remember when I was obsessed with that book? I think I need it in my life again...)

Love cannot be forced. And love is a mystery. MMSP says: "what eye has not seen and ear has not heard...God has prepared for those who love him"

We can't even imagine what awaits us if we keep the faith.

And God even gives us little consolations to keep us going while we are here on earth. I've been reminded of that of late.

Yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. I wrote about how during Advent I committed to pray a rosary in the car on the way to work each morning. That is a practice I have (somewhat) continued, but had failed at lately. I felt the urge to pray one yesterday, but I am too stupid in the morning (see exhibit A: this is something I have long said about coffee makers):

to realize what day it is, let alone an important feast day. (I need coffee before I can do anything. I swear decisions are not my own otherwise).

Anyways, so I decided to pray a rosary and to give things up to the Blessed Mother as I had once done much more intentionally.

Come to find once I showed up at Mass that it was Feb. 11- the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!

Our Lady of Lourdes was/is very special to my friend in my women's group and she actually made a pilgrimmage there last year. I'm sure I've referenced it in this blog before too. Her experience (and answered prayers!!) inspired me and I entrusted a thing or two to our Lady a while back because of the HOPE brought about by that devotion.

I am inspired to once again entrust things to Jesus through Mary this Valentine's/Lourdes/Lovefest this weekend :)

I also had time to make a holy hour yesterday for the first time in a longgggg time. Not only was the time with Jesus very fruitful, but I ran into a couple people I knew and wasn't expecting to see! It was a good reminder that Jesus has placed the right people in my life at the right time throughout my personal journey with Him. (There is hope :)

Oh, and the Gospel this week? Maybe a little cynical/ironic for Valentines just because God has a sense of humor (and Jesus was single, am I right? :):

You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Keep it clean this weekend, kids ;) Lest this happen....

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your membersthan to have your whole body go into Gehenna."

Indeed. Happy Valentine's Day! ;)



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