The segue for my opening happened between my typing the title and typing this line.
It's midnight. My wife and I went to bed about 45 minutes ago, but for various reasons are having a dispute. So I did my best to leave her in a reassured state, and said I'd be going to my office to pray, and maybe to do a little blogging.
Once I sat in my chair, it occurred to me to mix the two.
Then my wife came out of the bedroom, having heard the clatter of the keyboard, to ask what I was doing, since I said I'd be praying. She apologized when she realized my intent, saying she'd never heard of anybody “praying on the computer” before. She's gone off to do the 8 dishes left undone after supper, and then who knows what.
It's been hard for me to pray lately, Lord, and it's been easy for me to blog, so I figure tapping into the resources of one is an acceptable tactic to shore up the other. The enemy has been scoring some hits on me, and I haven't turned to my Refuge for solace. What ever happened to the good old days, God, when I would sit under that tree in the playground at junior high and pray through the Psalms? Psalm 27 especially gave me great comfort from the schoolyard taunts:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
(Psalm 27: 1-3, NAB)
As much as I hated being bullied, I loved being comforted by you. Those two years were the ones most crucial in forming me to love you, Lord. So I thank you for them. Yet I wonder if you couldn't have picked a better way to draw me to yourself; one perhaps that wouldn't have left me with a lingering sense of unworth.
Now that sounds ironic, eh? You loved me, and now as a consequence I feel unworthy of anybody else's love.
My parents love me. My wife loves me. My children love me. Either that, or they are all fabulous liars. So where does this sense of unworthiness come from?
There is something in me, Lord, that is telling me I don't deserve any love. Call it sinful nature gone wild. This may be a sign that my corrupt nature is not conquered; surprise, surprise! Is anybody's?
Perhaps that's the salve I'm looking for here; to know that your love for me is just as real as your love for everybody. I don't doubt your love for my lost coworkers, friends, or family. I don't rate their unworthiness at a higher or lower level than my own. To know that everybody who seeks intimacy with you struggles to accept it is somewhat enlightening.
We strive and strive to know our creator, and when he reveals himself, we shudder and hide ourselves, for “we are naked” (cf. Gen. 3:10).
Yet I know, Lord, that nothing can separate me from your love, including nakedness. So why has it been so long since I have felt it?
Ah, feeling is so fleeting. I've received your love, no doubt: in the Eucharist this morning, in the sacrament of Reconciliation last Thursday, in the ongoing grace of marriage. And then there's that all-encompassing love that permeates every moment and prevents me from spontaneously combusting. The fact that I don't feel it at a given moment doesn't cancel out its truth.
But now Lord, I need to feel it. I need to step into your arms, I need your solace once again. I'm at a crossroads, Lord, and I'm starting to get impaled by the point of the median [if anybody eavesdropping on this prayer doesn't understand that, it's OK, God does].
Right now God, I need you.
There have been times in years past that I've been able to clear my mind of all distractions and really zoom in on you, but I seem to have lost that ability. I've got so much going on in my head at any moment that silence breeds only boredom or panic. Shout, Lord, for your servant is hard of hearing. Help me unlearn the curse of multitasking. Somehow I've gotten good at it, and now no task can sustain my focus for any meaningful length of time.
Gurdeep recommended I “return to core” after I missed that last promotion. You are my core, Lord. Help me return to you.
One Rosary later...
I know, Lord, that prayer doesn't always yield immediate results. So I commit myself to your care, and I will wait for you.
But please don't take too long, Lord.