My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Friday, October 9, 2015

Days 2 and 3: Priorities? Offering? Distractions?

Welcome to day 2 of 31daysofwriting, again linking up with Passionate Perseverance and The Corner With a View. This is going to have to serve for day 3, also, because I'm going to my alma mater's Homecoming tomorrow.

Sorry this is so was a bit of a hard day...but better late than never, right?

Trying to make a schedule for myself leads to reflection on my priorities. Do I have any in the first place?

Looking at how I started the day, it would appear that my priorities lie in the realm of black tea, made after a hurried Morning Offering. Then I busied myself checking my email and Facebook.

Then I realized that something was bugging me, and what that something was, and spent the rest of the day distracting myself.

I should have stuck to the schedule.

I should have made a heartfelt Morning Offering. Then maybe it would have been easier to "offer" the swirling thoughts and emotions.

Prof. John Janaro (emeritus theology professor at my beloved alma mater) writes in Never Give Up:
Offering our sufferings in union with Jesus does not make them go away. If I have pain, and I offer it to Jesus, it still hurts. And I still wish it would go away. Does this mean I am not really offering it to God? Am I not doing it right?
That is not the point. If I say to God, "Thy will be done"--even if I say it with gritted teeth because I can't get it out any other way--then he begins to transform my suffering and to manifest his glory in me and through me. 
Instead of offering, I spent the day distracted. I didn't put God first today.

If I had spent ten minutes with the Gospel of John (which a priest suggested to me because of that Gospel's emphasis on the relationship between Jesus and His Father)...maybe I would have thought to offer the swirling thoughts and emotions, instead of running from them.

Because it's so easy to run from pain, to distract ourselves. It's so hard to sit with it--even when sitting with it might mean working on our relationship with God.

Sitting with pain means silence, not always having the radio blaring, even when that song is one that helps you think about God as our Father, e.g. "You're My Little Girl" by Go Fish. There is truth in the lyrics of that song:

But sometimes it's better to turn off the distractions, focus on the one thing that should be our priority, and sit with the pain so we can offer it.

Then, in the silence and the offering and the struggle and the pain, God, Who is our loving Father--no matter how much we struggle with that concept--can begin to "manifest his glory" in us.

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