Monday, February 7, 2011

The Heart Speaks to God

We understand that God's plan is mysterious. We pray, we offer, we try to embrace the sacrifices of daily life. What people often don't understand is how this deepens the sense of tenderness toward the world and other persons, toward the little things; how it makes for a greater awareness of the preciousness of life and all the gifts and the joys that God has given us in this world. We believe that the Mystery--God's love--is at the depths of everything, and that with Him nothing is lost, nothing! This is what the human heart asks for: EVERYTHING. And Jesus Christ is the answer to our heart's plea. Resurrection. Our destiny is a fulfillment in which we shall find everything anew; the gifts of God and the promises they awaken in our hearts are destined to be fulfilled. God and His world are NOT LYING TO US.

Resurrection. Then we shall love and be loved. There will be no more tears, no more separation, no more of that sense of division between joy and suffering, which is the pilgrimage of this life--a life in which the more deeply we possess something, the more deeply aware we are that the ultimate value and beauty of what we possess remains beyond us and beyond our power to grasp--we cry out for what we love in faith and hope, we beg for that "ultimate" that becomes more evident and more painfully absent in the measure that we really risk in love, and in allowing ourselves to be loved in this life.

We find this especially in the experience of loss. Loss seems to contradict love, and even though we know it is part of God's plan, part of our journey; even though we know that it is shaping and preparing our hearts for that fulfillment God has promised us, it remains--in this life--a darkness, an absence, a wound in the heart that is a sign. It is a sign that our destiny remains before us, that we have not yet attained happiness, that our life remains a state of begging before God. It is impressed upon the heart, and it manifests itself in ways that must not frighten us--rage, helplessness, distress, the lament of "Why, O God?" Misery. Grief.

We must abandon ourselves. We must let the heart pray. We don't understand these groanings but God does. Let the heart pray. "The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit...."(Romans 8:26-27).

Grief need not become despair. It is the Spirit moving our hearts to speak to God in ways that are beyond our thoughts and understanding. Grief is poured out. Grief is prayer. It does not forget that God is faithful to His promise.