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Broken? ~ Stanza V ~ Part I

September 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken

Flesh will tell us to seek comfort.
“We deserve it! We work hard!”
Y
et our spirits truly suffer,
when the ‘self’ gets high regard.

This is a tough section for me to write about! Because we do earn and/or merit some reward in this life through our work, and especially by living as true disciples of Christ where we reap, through the cross, the blessings God provides through grace. Yet this idea of being ‘deserving’ is often a mask for self-indulgence; sometimes extreme self-indulgence. I recently read the following ‘status’ on Facebook:

Two income household + no children = early retirement.

I find this incredibly sad, selfish, and short-sighted. Do these people know they have a soul that will live forever? Do they care? What do they think will happen to them when they are old? Who will watch over the quality of the care they receive? Will they opt to be euthanized when life is no longer fun?

This is just another example of a world that is so focused on me and my life and my plans that people are unable to think through to the consequences of their actions. Not to mention thinking about how their actions will affect others. Nobody comes into this world by themselves; we all have parents. And none of us lives without being affected by the actions of others….and without making an impact – be it good or bad – on others through our actions! Everything we do touches someone else, some way, somehow.

My mind just can’t comprehend this extreme self-centeredness! So I basically have two options in dealing with things like this. The first – and what I have chosen to do in the past – is getting irritated, annoyed, and angry, and then going out and doing the same kind of things myself!! (If you can’t beat them, join them.) This just made things worse. It was a self-perpetuating cycle of frustration and unhappiness. The second option is to turn to God. I can’t take any credit for coming up with this brilliant idea on my own because I was so far down the path of darkness and unhappiness that the Lord had to intervene and show me what was possible on ‘the other side’. May He be forever blessed for the goodness, mercy, and love He pours out on His children in great abundance!

What I find on ‘the other side’ is gratitude. My heart fills to bursting when I think of how very fortunate and blessed I am. I was born in a time of plenty, in a country where life is good. We were poor, but I don’t ever remember going hungry. I wore a lot of hand-me-downs and was made fun of at school for it, but I also never lacked for someone to play with. I lived on a farm with animals and gardens and fruit trees galore. We learned the ways of nature, of life and death, of working hard, playing fair, and counting our blessings, because if you look hard enough, you can always find someone who is in a worse situation than you are. Thanks Mom & Dad!

I also find on ‘the other side’ that friendship, joy, love, concern for others, living in and for Christ, and prayer, are also self-perpetuating. The more you give, the more you find comes back to you. We never run out of love!

Add to this better way of dealing with things, what St. John of the Cross says in his Cautions Against the Flesh, “All those who come into our lives are artisans. They are there to shape, fashion, form, and test us.” We can not only deal with ugly things in a more peaceful and positive manner, but we can also learn from them. If we give ourselves in complete trust and abandonment to God’s Divine Providence, what we learn from these difficulties can lead us to one day be grateful, not only for the experiences, but to/for the person they came through, as well.

Love & Prayers,

Becky

This post is part of a series. The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here once they have been published.

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About Becky Ward

Becky is a wife, mother of four (One in heaven), grandmother of five, and a "re-formed Catholic" who, after receiving the gift of a deep conversion in 2006, and working through the Disciples of Jesus and Mary faith formation program, now considers herself to be "fully Catholic" What this means is that she now, at last, understands and appreciates the beauty of the Catholic faith in such a way that she wants to share it with everyone. "I've heard that the Blessed Mother told a visionary, 'If Catholics really lived their faith, the whole world would be Catholic.' I see the truth in this, and it is my deepest hope to be a living example that draws others to Jesus. Given the nickname Rebel-Becca by her mother, Becky strongly identifies with St. John the Baptist and his call to "make straight the path of the Lord", and with his role as "Friend of the Bridegroom". The poem, "Broken?" written through her hand, is a reflection of the journey of the soul, and Becky explains what the Holy Spirit is teaching her as she writes posts for each stanza.

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