I have been participating in the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena since Good Friday. Each day there is a specific intention to hold up in prayer before the Lord. Today's intention is for The Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Children.
I used to be a very meek and humble soul - not so much any more, which is not something of which to boast. Humility is a state of being I strive for and most of the time I am ok with not being the center of attention or with letting the slings and arrows of every day life bounce off my ample body. I glide along for awhile and then have a kind of spiritual hissy fit where I get so worked up and tired of what I read on the Internet, see on TV or hear while in line at the gas station that I react.
Now, most people react all the time so I know I am doing better than most and worse than others. I hope I am right sized in my appraisal of my own behavior, avoiding scrupulosity and acknowledging both my assets and my liabilities. I always tell my sponsees that it is statistically impossible for one human being to be wrong 100% of the time and I hope I can remember that same thing when I am reviewing my day (or days).
I lost a friend on FB yesterday because they did not like the stance I took on abortion. Unlike another friend, a Dominican sister of mine, who disagreed with how I worded something and offered another take (which I really liked, BTW) he just 'unfriended' me. I am sad about that because it feels, once again, like the old days of "You better talk right, little girl, or you are rejected". However, I have to remember that he has the absolute right to put me out of his life if he disagrees with me and I have the absolute right to do the same with someone else for whatever reason I chose. We all can chose our actions and we have to be ok with the consequences of those actions. I am ok with what I wrote for the most part - I do believe that the Left have used the elimination of 'defective' children in the womb as a justification for the 'choice' of abortion - and I do like Renee's take on it: advocating abortion for any reason is evil and the people do it, whether on the Left or on the Right as a matter of choice, are advocating for evil. I like her view because it lifts it out of the realm of political bent and puts it square where it should be - Abortion is Evil, no matter why or who or what the reasons it is evil.
I want to be a meek and humble soul, like Therese of Liseux, but I also want to be a warrior like Catherine of Sienna, the mighty Dominican who scolded Popes and stood up to bad theology. I want to be able to look Jesus in the eye at the end of my days and say, "Lord, I tried to do good. I did not always make it, especially during those years I was drinking and using drugs. I lived like a Pagan during that time but I repented, came Home to You and Your Church, and tried to live according to Her precepts for the rest of my life."
Maybe the choice I made almost 20 years ago is finally catching up with me. I chose life the morning of May 4, 1992. I chose to claw my way up out of the abyss and back into the Sunlight of the Spirit. My commitment, at that moment, was simply to LIFE. What I was unaware of at the time is the truth that deciding to Live means so much more than breathing in and out, taking in nourishment and not walking out in front of a fast moving bus. Once a human chooses life the process of walking towards eternity really begins. We start doing more than just marking time until the end. Rather, we begin to look (consciously or unconsciously) for the Beginning, The Creator, the Source of Strength, LOVE. Many of us find it in our work or in another person (or series of other people...that happens a LOT) but some of us are privileged to receive the Gift of Faith.
Once that Gift is accepted, the true restlessness of our hearts and souls take over. We want to know more, to learn - we really begin to seek. Our responsibility as human creatures to never stop growing and stretching our mind and hearts take root. It is why we need more than just a rudimentary understanding of God and His Laws and what drives us to keep reading, learning, asking questions.
Perhaps part of being a Meek and Humble Soul is accepting the need to learn as a kind of constant state of being. I cannot imagine ever finishing a book or a document and saying, "Well, there you go. I now know everything I need to know about everything there is...time for pizza". But I can see myself buying books when I am 95, piling them on the night stand and saying to myself, "I will get to those when I am finished with these".
Today we pray for the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Children. May the Mercy, the Divine Mercy, shower us with the graces we need to walk through life. May we never stop learning, never stop recognizing our errors and trying to correct them, never stop being willing to lose a facebook friend for stating our beliefs. May we be Therese of the Child Jesus and Catherine of Sienna, with a little bit of Tina Fey and Eddie Izzard thrown in for good measure.