It is both an exhilarating and daunting experience to be sitting here before a brand new blog that is empty and waiting to be filled with words and images.
Recently, I was reminded of an admonition given by the most faithful reader of my previous blog, a beautiful soul who has since left this world to go to God. “Please, never stop writing,” she would urge when I had been remiss in my posting. I never felt quite worthy of the honor her words implied nor was I ever sure that I could make such a promise.
I would tell her that I would write as long as God allowed – for I intuitively knew that He could withdraw the ability or inspiration at any moment and I would have no choice but to obey. To write was not simply an act of my will.
But I also know that I am lazy. I do not always make the time to listen to God, to ask Him if He might give me something to share. I become preoccupied with my job and so many other things of this world. Time passes and I do not write.
Is it His will or mine that I have followed?
That is perhaps something that I can never know with certainty – for my willfulness, my ego, slip into play so insidiously that what I imagine to be God’s will is often really just my own. At times, it seems that I can only trip along blindly, hoping to discover the Way that is simply too glorious for my tiny mind to comprehend.
From years of willfulness and blindness I have learned one thing – no, two actually. First, I am weak and sinful and therefore I cannot trust myself at all. Second, I must resolutely place all of my hope in God.*
I anticipate that I will continue to fall as I learn to do this – because that is how I am. But I also trust that, when I return with all of my heart, He will lead me with a Love that will destroy in me any desire but to follow.
And so I begin this blog, knowing only that I am weak and He is good – and that I want to lose my will in His.
Of course, I do not know how to do this. And so, asking the prayers of the saints and holy ones of God, I allow the words of St. Ignatius (Loyola) to wash through me and become the guide for my journey:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
Indeed. Everything is His. To Him be glory. Amen.
* note: see The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society, by Archbishop Averky (Taushev), the challenging text where I encountered these ideas and began taking them to heart.