— St. Thomas Aquinas
I am a Dominican and, so, am very partial to Thomas. The way he thinks, the manner in which he gives all to God and His Church, the contemplation and sharing of that contemplation all gives me a pretty high bar to hit. Of course, I can never be a St Thomas Aquinas, but I can give it a try.
I am particularly struck by the idea of being 'led on to master the evidence' for myself. I am considering this in light of recent events in my life and how the evidence of my shortcomings and my assets can lead me to master that ever bothersome goal of aligning my will with the Will of God.
Because I can be the Queen of Rationalization, I have a difficult time 'seeing my part' in things that go sideways. I am no different from the majority of human beings (few people see their part in bad or broken relationships other than to state that if they weren't so darn picky or good or honest or trusting these other bad people wouldn't take advantage of them or reject them). My issue, however, is that I have two goals: an earthly one (stay sober) and a heavenly one (be a saint). This means my path is narrower than most and can be rockier than most because I firmly believe that satan purposefully goes after people who have made a decision to try and get to heaven. The boulders I find strewn on my path can be huge...and the tiny, pointy pebbles scattered along the way can cause me to bleed and become infected. Either way, I can make a mess of things.
I have watched two people in the past ten days lose relationships. I have watched their reactions and I understand those reactions because they have been mine. I can see the damage they did and are currently doing and I know it is being done out of pain and hurt.
When life goes belly up for me, I try to remember that I am loved by God. I believe that I am loved. If I can do that, in spite of what appears to be the current tragedy or hurt of the moment, I have a better chance of examining the evidence of that love rather than ignoring it. If I can examine the evidence of that love - my sobriety, my health, the amazing people in my life, my Scottie dog, that the Niners have only lost one game since last season and it is a pre season game and we beat the Cowboys - I can master this evidence. It becomes second nature to me. I just will KNOW it...and I won't need to make the public displays of anger and pride that I can do when I am hurt.
Let's all try and examine the evidence of Divine Love in our lives. Let's start by believing it exists.