It was a feeling that had been weighing heavy in my heart. A void in my soul that continued to stir me. It was in the knowing that something had to change that I had to dig deeper. I needed to seek a way to quench an insatiable thirst and hunger that I had inside and now I see it was the Lord calling me to become his, to go deeper, to return to him.
I found myself in the midst of living out my own version of the story of the prodigal son. Turning my back on my savior to indulge in my own desires that resulted in nothing but pain and yet he still called to me.
I had been freed from my former way of life. I had found true love and true salvation through my Lord Jesus Christ, and then in time I turned my back on my Lord and savior to in turn lose my faith, my hope, my new found life all to lead to death and for what? For my own selfish pleasures. It was the death of my soul, my purity, my hopes, my goals, my dreams.
This Lenten season as with many Catholics I gave up a vice. More so something that I truly enjoy, as a sacrifice, to give honor to my savior’s sacrifice. However, in time it became clear that I was gaining more than what I was giving up. The path that I began was something far greater than any sacrifice I could ever make. It was the inexplicable showering of love and understanding of my God.
As is true with most of my supernatural journey in life God paved the path in another mysterious way. It began with my studies of most recent in becoming a life coach and tuning into podcasts of the nature. It then turned into leisure reading of the subject matter but soon enough I found myself disinterested and feeling like I was once again simply going through the motions. Something inside stirred me to begin seeking out inspirational Christian reading as leisure reading. Immediately I found myself feeling as though my thirst was being quenched. It was as if though through each book I read I longed for more to continue satisfying my thirst. I’d go on YouTube and listen to Christian podcasts and tune out what needed to be tuned out from my mind and somehow I don’t recall how but I found a YouTube channel that began the process that I like to think of and refer to as “the invitation back home”.
It was through the medium of social media that I found questions about my faith and traditions being answered. Questions that I suppose were answered during my preparatory confirmation classes many many years ago but that I had since brushed aside. It was the answers to the why do I believe what I believe, who is God really, why exactly are the sacraments in place. Answers I once knew. I am ashamed to admit that someone like me who was once on fire for the Lord had since lost all spiritual gifts, knowledge and understanding. Though I should probably state that I lost most though not all in their entirety.
It became clear to me as I tuned in to the podcast on a daily frequency for an hour during my work day or an hour before bed that God was clearing the path for me. He was reminding me of who He was and who He is in my life and what He’s done for me and what He wants for me. It was truly humbling to be reminded through a priest of the betrayal that Judas made for Jesus for silver while the priest himself stated to have made the same betrayal for far less. I too had made that same betrayal in life, also for far too less only to end up on the path to death. For far too long I have been dead but yet with Him and through Him this insatiable thirst is indeed quenched. Listening to the priest provided me with new found knowledge of my purpose in life. The real reason you and I were created which is for true authentic friendship with God and to be divinized. I felt God tugging at my heart to set my ways to His ways. And in casual yet noticeable ways He began getting my attention. I began reflecting on what real love is.
Real love is dying on a cross completely mutilated, suffering, in pain, completely exposed to be mocked, humiliated and ridiculed and saying that you did it for me, for you, for us, for many. Love is being the king of all kings and being born in a stable among animals to a 14 year old peasant girl who had nothing, so to humble Himself to the point where the most lowly may accept Him as king and find Him relatable. Love is being crowned king with a crown made of thorns which penetrate through your skin and skull while blood drips on your face all along being beat, laughed at and spat at. That is what love looks like because that is what our Lord and Savior did for us. He made a personal and individual decision for you and a personal individual decision for me. That is love.
Love is giving us a book with guidance and precautions on how to live life so that in this world, a world full of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing we may find our way home.
Earlier this evening God led me in such a casual manner to feel His love for me and to show me who He is. As the afternoon was winding down and the snow and sleet tapered off outside I decided to retreat to my livingroom to take time for mindless television (something I despise and rarely do). I was flipping through the channels, hand in hand with my cell phone ready to plug into another informational Catholic youtube video while my son would watch a child friendly family film . My son asked to watch an animated movie which he previously viewed earlier in the day. I went on demand to request the movie and as I was scrolling I stopped short on “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe “. This wasn’t the film he had in mind but I pondered over the title as I remembered reading this book as a child many many years ago and now years later, as of recent I had heard it mentioned in an informational podcast by a priest. I decided to request it for viewing. Isn’t it beautiful how God works?. Watching it as an adult with my spiritual understanding now gave me the insight to the actual meaning that C.S. Lewis intended it to have but that I had not grasped as a child.
We are called to be heirs of kingship because our God is the king of all kings. We are called to be divinized in Heaven which is exactly why the enemy attacks us because of the plans the Lord has for us. Out of jealousy and anger the enemy has cast a war on all mankind. But Jesus paid that price. I felt that not only did the film showcase that but it also reminded me of who our God is. Our God is a Lion. He is so big, so immense, so powerful and yet here we are on Earth doubting Him when our prayers don’t get answered the way we’d like. We lack faith. God in his mysterious way gently reminded me ” I am Your God, I am on your side, you are mine’s and I lay my life down for you. Everyday.” This further reiterates the fact that we choose to follow Christ everyday. It’s a choice we have to make daily to die to ourselves and live for Him. If you didn’t follow Christ yesterday or the week before or the year before or the decade before then it’s still not too late. That is the past. So long as you are breathing you can still decide to turn your life and give it to Christ.
And so this Lenten season I urge you to use the season for what it really is… a time for inner reflection, connecting with God and turning your life back to him. No matter how far you’ve gone or what you’ve done wrong, Christ invites us to begin a new life in him and with him and to be reconciled with God our father .
If you allow yourself to become silent enough you will hear the calling in the stillness of your heart.