This passage from the reflection in the Magnificat really resonates with me:
“When you feel that you have done your best to amend your life according to the laws of the Church, give yourself in earnest to the contemplative work. And if the memory of your past sins or the temptation to new ones should plague your mind, forming an obstacle between you and God, crush them beneath your feet and bravely step beyond them. Try to bury the thought of these deeds beneath the thick cloud of forgetting just as if neither you nor anyone else had ever done them. If they persist in returning, you must persist in rejecting them. In short, as often as they rise up you must put them down….
When distracting thoughts annoy you, try to pretend that you do not even notice their presence or that they have come between you and your God. Look beyond them — over their shoulder, as it were — as if you were looking for something else, which of course you are. For beyond them, God is hidden in the dark cloud of unknowing. Do this and I feel sure you will soon be relieved of anxiety about them. I can vouch for the orthodoxy of this technique because in reality it amounts to a yearning for God, a longing to see and taste him as much as is possible in this life. And desire like this is actually love, which always brings peace.”
This speaks to me on a couple of different levels. First, we were talking about some mystics in Theology class on Thursday and how both of them saw as the summit of prayer life contemplation of God. St. Teresa of Avila, in particular, piqued my interest — so I bought 3 of her books and will work on reading them this Lent. Second, this passage speaks of that sin that you keep doing — almost against your will — and how to try to overcome it by not letting it get in your way, but to keep picking yourself back up, going to Confession, and making the choice every time to follow Jesus. It is too easy, when faced with repeated failure in holiness to despair and think that this particular thing is beyond you. Yet God gives you grace all the time, and nothing, NOTHING, is beyond His power. Nothing is stronger than God. Trust in Him and keep seeking after Him.
What an amazingly graced day today has been! I started off by watching a catch up session for my Epic church history study, followed by reading the Magnificat. This reading has been so inspiring to me, and so helpful in starting to plan out my Lent. Then, I got to get my hair done — something which has been woefully neglected for far too long. I had a quick lunch, then got to spend some time in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet with some friends. Next, because I was feeling a little indicted by St. Teresa, I took the opportunity to participate in Reconciliation. I got some materials to aid me in my Lenten project, and came home for some more reading, a lovely dinner, and some Wii (I made my brother’s Mii a Pro at tennis!). I think I’ll shortly retire for the evening and continue my spiritual reading.
I can’t wait for tomorrow! If today was so good, I can’t even imagine what the Lord’s Day has in store for me! 🙂