Friday, December 27, 2013

The Question of Suffering & The Joy of Life

We ought to realize in the everyday the profound reality that we are faced with a choice of perspective and framing of mind: either God is keeping something from us, or else He is intending something else to transpire before the gift of the secondary comes. Both still must lead to Him in the telos of the endeavor, but we shouldn't discount the real possibility our desires do not have the fullness of His love in mind (thereby missing the mark) or lack the order found in Him who orders all things (timing).

We, especially in Western society, think of it as a zero-sum game. We either get what we desire or we don't. We lose sight of the value of prayer and of certitude with the end game. We try our damnedest to get what we want this moment, in a race of instant gratification, without realizing good things are good not because they are quick but, rather, because they are abiding. The good invariably comes in sequences. We can try to "game" the system, but virtue isn't a magical game. It requires hard work and dedication.

Dedication often takes doing things that aren't natural to our sensibilities or to our patience levels, but then how would virtue grow if not with a bit of resistance? Certainly the satisfaction of something doesn't come from its consumption, for it would mean we would wish to consume nothing more. No, satisfaction comes from the growth of spirit through the tedium and the lengthening of time between desire and its consummation. The larger fire isn't necessarily a flash explosion but a growing fire that burns but doesn't consume. Love, in its purest forms, does purify through this growing fire and not from the scorching explosion of a exploding blast, burning away the impurities but not pushing away the greatest richness found within. This nugget being refined within is the virtue and good works we seek and, in its deepest forms, the insatiable desire for love and to be in communion with the Other.

So it is, timing must come from the understanding that gratification and gift isn't predicated on our readiness of receipt but our willingness to give of ourselves in the service to the Good. Who is the greatest good but Him who made all things and did so in all knowledge of the good works He called us to labor in, under, and in response to His grace?

It is His grace that leads us on, whether it be in outward suffering or in joy contemplated. No matter, joy mustn't remain inward, self-effacing. Joy is always the outward expression of the inward ponderings of a God so great as to give us His Son for expiation of our sins... and for the fulfillment of our deepest longings for Him as One. It is the joy of being filled with His grace.

Ave Maria, gratia plena...

No comments:

Post a Comment