Thursday, August 4, 2011

Giving From Our Surplus?!

Oooo...y'all are getting a two-fer this week! Somebody must be reaaalll relaxed ('s me! ;)

I've had all of the time to just DO stuff this week (though still haven't really gotten to that grad research- DON'T TELL!) and when I saw my friends out last weekend after a week + of Workcamp Part 2, and they were all like, "Julia! You look great!" I haven't been doing much of anything, as we all know, so it must be just the fact that I'm RELAXED that I'm looking/feeling good!

And with all of that time comes time for prayer! Which also helps.

I had me some spiritual direction yesterday which was so good and helpful. I've been praying about how to be Christ's Beloved in a different way since moving out of the convent and into the next phase of my life (30s!).

Father made some good points to me yesterday about how being the Beloved is not just about receiving love, but also giving it as well. Making some kind of sacrifice to show our love to our Beloved.

Again, with religious life, the sacrifice one is asked to make is clear. Even the past two years where I struggled to find a job in ministry was a sacrifice I was able to offer up and unite with Christ.

But in this time of surplus, of consolation- what can I offer and give to the Beloved?

It's SUMMER. Things are GOOD. I'm relaxed. I gots a new house, rocking community, job that I love, directed research with a prof...I've always heard that we should "give from our need" but is it okay to give from the surplus??? I feel like I have an abundance right now!

I think- regardless of where we are spiritually, physically, emotionally- God just wants 2 things: 1.) That we are using our gifts for Him in some way 2.) allowing Him permission to do whatever He wants with where we are at.

So, for example, discerning religious life, I was like: "Here. It's all yours. Take my job that I like, my cool outfits, my future, my talents- do with it whatever you would like."

I just kind of figured out today that I can say that now too! Though it seems kind of an unfair advantage since I AM giving from a surplus, instead of a need. But I can still say: "It's all yours. The job I like, my cool outfits, my future, my talents- do whatever you would like."

So while I am praying about what kind of sacrifice God might be asking me to make at this point in my life, Father emphasized that God will make it clear. So not to worry. I think what God does want right now is that permission to do whatever He wants with all that He's given me and my trust that He does all things well.

St. Ignatius has also been a help to me as I am in this time of consolation (Discernment of Spirits! Get it!) because the devil wants to be all up in the mix. I'm not sure which rule # it is, but one of the rules of consolation/desolation: "Don't stray from your plan." If you have a plan to go and take an hour in prayer, using xyz to pray- don't let no one talk you out of it! Devil's gonna wanna jump all over it! That's definitely been a temptation for me of late since things ARE so good it's like, 'oh, I don't gots to pray...things are Good!' WRONG. Don't listen! Stick to the plan!

Also, in times of consolation we are to kind of have a plan for when we are back in times of desolation. So, for example, I know my summer days are numbered (sniff!) So how am I going to plan on praying when my time is shorter and I'm more stressed? I gots to plan ahead!

Anyways, these were some of the thoughts I thought to share after my prayer today. Please pray for my upcoming trip to Camden as it will be a step outside my comfort zone- not knowing what to expect from the experience. And pray for the students who may be changed. And lastly, pray for all my friends going to World Youth Day!

I've never been to WYD, because showering with thousands of people in streets doesn't really appeal to me...wait. WHAT?! You heard me. Traveling with large groups of people ain't pretty. Though I do get the beauty of seeing the universal Church and I definitely want to make a pilgrimage one day. Just on my own time. With perhaps a smaller group of people and guaranteed hygiene.


No comments: