He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
As often happens what I think I’m writing about, isn’t what I actually write about. Well, at least not directly. Yesterday the Vatican released the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete ex Exsultate which translates to Rejoice and be Glad. I’m slowly working through this 46 page document calling us to holiness, reminding us that each of us has a unique call to holiness.
11. “Each in his or her own way” the Council says. We should not grow discouraged before examples of holiness that appear unattainable. There are some testimonies that may prove helpful and inspiring, but that we are not meant to copy, for that could even lead us astray from the one specific path that the Lord has in mind for us. The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts (cf. 1 Cor 12:7), rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them. We are all called to be witnesses, but there are many actual ways of bearing witness. Indeed, when the great mystic, Saint John of the Cross, wrote his Spiritual Canticle , he preferred to avoid hard and fast rules for all. He explained that his verses were composed so that everyone could benefit from them “in his or her own way”. For God’s life is communicated “to some in one way and to others in another”.
We are all unique, called to holiness – which in it’s simplest form is a relationship with God where we experience mutual love. Something about this Lent that really rattled me with a sense of fear that my Sweetie reminded me over and over again is NOT from God. Essentially I was/am telling God that I’m not worthy of His Love. And then Holy Week and while reading something I was moved to tears, that sobbing ugly cry that is often the beginning of repentance. It was the beginning. There is more, much more to go. Hearing the Word speak, “It is consummated, finished, complete”
This act of love, this laying down of one’s life is the path to holiness. It is the path that brings us closer to God, and therefore closer to one another. There is the literal laying down of life for our friends in the experience of physical death; then there is the day to day laying down of life that recognizes the dignity and needs of the others in our lives. This laying down of life is, as Pope Francis is exhorting us, different for each one of us – our unique path to sainthood, our unique relationship with God.
There are days where I feel a little like St. Therese of Lisieux – where I want to do grand, very grand things in life, and it is the little things. And not for nothing there’s a lot that I miss out on because it is the desire for the grand things – the big quilting career, the writing of that book that makes the biggest difference for free-motion machine quilters. And then today there was another book title, “Forty Days of Prayer for Quilters” with the first reading from Genesis on creation. I might get more than one day out of that one.
Part of what prompted this post is reading You Wrecked Me on Letitia Ochoa Adams blog. I think a lot of us have a hard time allowing God to love us. It’s hard to know our faults and failings and think we’re lovable. However, that is the Lie. God LOVES completely, wholly, nothing withheld, no holds barred. We see how God loves us through Lent, and Easter. It’s hard to see the beauty of our work when we think that we’re unloved, not loved, unlovable by our peers. Envy and jealousy take root, and grow like weeds in our minds and hearts, in our creative self. We know we must quilt, and make but then it’s so hard to hear someone praise our work. Or it’s difficult to appreciate the work of another because it seems so much better than our work. It’s true, it might be, but what of the story behind that work. What are the difficulties that this quilter experienced that brought them to this quilt that we’re gazing at a quilt show, or on our computer screen. Comparatively speaking…oh wait, that’s the point in a world set on comparisons it’s difficult to see the beauty of our own work.
The only person we should be comparing ourselves to is our very own self, not Janie’s, not Sarabeths, not Josies, or . . .just our self, to see our life journey in light of God’s love.
I’ll continue reading and sharing, relating and thinking, praying and opening my heart. Pray for me friends, I pray for you!