Friday, September 18, 2009

Be All That You Can Be

When we (Dave and I) were visiting Alaska (oh, did I forgot to tell you that one!) in July, I stopped by the cathedral across the street from our hotel. On my way out I picked up a copy of the Word Among Us - a catholic daily devotional. I loved reading through it so I subscribed. I continue to love reading through it.

Yesterday's entry was on the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her hair (from Luke 7). She...
...shamelessly demonstrated her love for Jesus. She didn't hesitate. She didn't fear rejection. Her actions overflowed from a conviction deep in her soul that Jesus loved her and she wanted to return that love. She was transformed because she saw that Jesus had accepted her and was committed to her, no matter how dark her previous life had been.
I, almost, instantly felt an attraction, a benign jealousy for this woman's demonstration, for her love, courage and conviction. I honestly don't feel that unbridled devotion to my LORD.

Lately I've been experiencing how hesitant I am in receiving. Let me explain. Dave is a gracious giver. He gives love and affection to me freely, regularly, joyously. I look at him when he gushes, "You are so beautiful, I love you!" incredulously. In my eyes I am unlovable and unworthy. God, through Dave, has given me a relationship which mirrors Him. Like Peter in Acts, I am reminded that what He has made clean I am not to call unclean. I have been made clean, I am being made clean. I am not worthy but because of Christ's blood over me, I am. It's almost like a slap in His face when I turn away, as I do with Dave, and guffaw, "I don't see what you see, therefore, I don't believe you." And in my heart and mind I do say that.

So, you see, I want to be like the woman in Luke's story. I want to believe. And it seems that God, in His infinite mercy and love, is placing circumstances and words to convince (or woo) me. I am reading through the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or at least I started reading, don't know how long I will pursue this massive tome).

In Part One, The Profession of Faith, I read:
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.
And quoting from Augustines Confessions:
...for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
In brief,
...going toward God man lives a fully human life only if he freely lives by his bond with God. Without the Creator the creature vanishes.
These words encourage me. But I confess, I still harbor doubts and distrust. Yet I am moving toward accepting, I am moving toward surrender.


My Computer Man said...

First of all, I thought your Blog title was the greatest one in the world. That's because I wanted to use it, but before I did, I checked around to see if it already existed. Dang!
Second, I kept following your blog because you seemed to be a like-minded Catholic family and stuff, and now I see a food-minded family. (My wife cried tears of joy during "Julie and Julia".
Thirdly, once we found "Word Among Us" we also immediately subscribed, so thanks for posting that.
So, in conclusion, keep up the interesting stuff.

Barb said...

Thanks John,
But I must fully disclose -- we are not a catholic family. But we are a Catholic family. My husband is a PCUSA pastor. I would say I am traveling the "tiber".

I too, cried during the movie. Felt silly doing so but I find the older I get the more I cry over joyful events and when someone discovers their purpose I see joy.

If you're interested...a fantastic blog/podcast site is Deacon Tim and Cindy discuss issues on culture and faith. Excellent.

Suzanne said...

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree?" Seems I used that line awhile ago, probably not in the most positive sense. It is (don't want to use awesome), perhaps with a sense of awe that I see some of his dad in David. Loving with a Christlike love, when I don't deserve it. Once again you brought tears to my eyes can we be so fortunate?....although right now I'm really irritated!!

Barb said...

Is that irritation brought on from too much time in the kitchen together?

Viola Larson said...

Thanks Barb, this was beautiful. I think sometimes I like Calvin so much because he uses a lot of Augustine.

I use the devotional put out by Touchstone. I don't agree with their stance on women but I love their devotional. It is addictive.

Interestingly my reading was in Luke 7 today too. And I had some of the same thoughts about responding more ardently to the love of Jesus.

Barb said...

Thanks Vi. Do you follow the lectionary?

Viola Larson said...

No, and with the devotional I use it’s not necessary since it basically follows along that but with all the Scriptures. My problem is my problem-I don't always read the O.T. readings partly because I may be studying something else then what is listed. And partly because I get in a hurry.