Tuesday of Week 16 in Ordinary Time
Whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven
We can only DO the will of God when we are unattached to all things, including (and especially) our own self. Only in this detachedness are we free to think only of God. Because of this detachedness, Mary was free to say YES to God. And, as I shared yesterday, because Zechariah was attached to himself (pride) and the world, (the limitations of the world, i.e. women nearly 100 yrs old cannot get pregnant), he wasn’t free to say YES to God. Zechariah was a righteous ‘godly’ man, he was a religious man, he was faithful in many ways. He loved God – his version of God. But, scripture shares with us that Zechariah wasn’t (yet) truly attached to God because he wasn’t detached from himself.
Being attached to God is ALL good. Being attached to God in most things is being attached to self and this world, and therefore unattached to God. To be attached to God, to do His will is to release all else. And in that detachment of self is the only everlasting joy. St. Teresa of Avila said it this way:
Let nothing disturb you,
Nothing frighten you,
All things are passing,
God never changes;
Patient endurance attains all things;
Whoever possesses God is wanting in nothing;
God alone suffices.
Thomas Merton said it this way:
The saint is unlike everybody else precisely because he is humble… Humility consists in being precisely the person you actually are before God, and since no two people are alike, it you have the humility to be yourself you will not be like anyone else in the whole universe…
A humble man is not disturbed by praise. Since he is no longer concerned with himself, and since he knows where the good that is in him comes from, he does not refuse praise, because it belongs to the God he loves, and in receiving it he keeps nothing for himself but gives it all, and with great joy, to God.
To become detached from self, unattached to all things of this world, can only be attained by consistent time with God alone. Meditative, contemplative prayer. Being quiet enough, often enough, so that we can hear God’s voice, see His hand, feel His love.
That sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? But we live in the real world — we have responsibilities, families, jobs, people are counting on us….. and most people would say they don’t have that kind of time to give to God and their relationship with Him; just too many other important things to worry about, and besides, God is God and He will understand. One day, we’ll have more time for God, but not right now…..
Brothers and sisters, God understands where we are coming from; but it seems we are the ones who don’t understand where God is coming from.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father in Heaven, we want to be attached only to You, we want to be the saints you created us to be. But it is difficult in this world. So much noise; so much to pull at us, so much to organize, take care of, so much to do. And yet, if we gaze at Mary, if we gaze at Christ, if we quiet our hearts and minds and empty ourselves of our ‘self’, we know that in attaching ourself only to you, we will be who you’ve created us to be.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Lord, for the example of Mary and all the saints. Lord, especially for the ones who didn’t ‘get it’ from the beginning. These are the saints who also give us hope, who inspire us and support us in getting up again when the weight of self has caused us to stumble and fall. Thank you Father God, that you have graced us with faith to know that when we fall, You are helping us up. Again.