Have you ever felt like you have been praying but God hasn’t been hearing your prayer? Or maybe you have been working hard to grow in virtue but see no change in your life despite your best efforts? Maybe you’ve felt like you just don’t know how to pray anymore, although you continue to set aside time to be with Him. Perhaps a lesson from Earth Science class can help us out here.
Let’s put a pot of ice water on the stove and turn on the heat. We will watch the temperature on a thermometer to measure the change in water temperature as the pot sits on the heat, and we won’t look inside that pot. Now, if we watch that thermometer for a while, we will begin to think that nothing is happening. Heat is being applied to the water, but the water isn't feeling warmer.
Suddenly there is a rise in temperature! How can the water go from cold to hot so quickly? Well, the water temperature doesn't rise - it doesn’t change - until all the ice is melted. It seems as though nothing is happening, but something is happening - the heat energy is melting the ice rather than raising the water temperature. Only when all the ice is melted is the heat energy finally able to warm up the water temperature.
Doesn't this make you think of the spiritual life? We may feel as though we work and work to grow in virtue but with no results. Sometimes in our prayer we may feel that we are stuck, that we have stopped moving closer to God. Where is He? Why can’t we reach Him? He may seem very far away. Well, God is often working in the secret of our hearts. Sometimes there are hard, icy parts of us that need to melt before the heat of God’s love can continue to transform other aspects of our lives. We can’t always see those bits and pieces of ice hidden often so deep within our souls, and thankfully God usually reveals them to us just a little at a time so as not to overwhelm us. But if we pray, if we partake of the sacrament, then we are applying heat – the heat of God’s love and mercy. Change is taking place, we must just continue to trust and to love.
Sep 3, 2011
“You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:48 (New Jerusalem Translation)
What does it mean to be perfect? The New Catholic Dictionary defines perfection as “a state of supreme excellence to which nothing is lacking.” Christian perfection is described as “a state of union with God through charity.”
Can we be like God our Father? Can we be holy and perfect? We can! God would never ask us to be something that is impossible for us to be. As our creator, He is in the best position to be aware of our defects, our limitations, and also of our capabilities. He created us in His own image and likeness and our capabilities are often much greater than we imagine. We are journeying on the Little Way to perfection, to holiness, to union with God. Our sanctification is worked out each day in the small and large choices that we make at each moment.
Our Creator has a vision for us that is much greater than we have for ourselves! He sees us whole, our wounds bound up, our hearts full of joy and love. He sees us not just alone anymore but united to Him through charity, through love. He has seen the blueprints for our souls! We were created to love Him so much that we become one with Him, looking like Him and loving like Him.
Aug 30, 2011
Please, Lord Jesus, don’t abandon me.
Hold me tightly by the hand
So that I can’t run away from you when I am confused.
I am going through this pain for You, Lord Jesus,
Because in order to walk closer to You,
I have to walk through these things.
I may not think that I am worth it,
But I know that You are worth it.
You – to be closer to You,
To be your beloved,
Your precious one,
This is the pearl of great price.