Saturday, December 23, 2017



Is this a good time now? Is this finally the right time to listen to what I have to say? My beloved children, I dare you to read this letter. I dare you to read it to the end, without skipping any part, and without prejudice (Luke 4:24) because, you should remember that although I am the one who gave you your body, the Lord our God is the One who gave you your immortal soul, and I have something to tell you on His behalf.

It's not as if I were from another world and don't know what life is all about on this planet. I know! I've lived a long life and I carried all my crosses, like everybody else. So I know what I'm talking about.

I know that you are suffering, each one of you, I understand. It's your turn to struggle now, to carry your crosses, but you can trust me, because I have done it before you, so I know how heavy those crosses can be. Believe, therefore, that my love and compassion for you are such that I only want what is good, true, healthy and beautiful for you.

If in the past I spoke the truth to you, you didn't want to hear it. It was always like "it's not the right time" or you'd find some other way to change the subject. That's why I'm asking now: Is this the right time, at last?

You might say, "Aw, Mom, I'm not in the mood for this stuff. Besides,  everybody needs to make their own experiences to really learn what God is all about.  Imparted wisdom simply won't cut it as it did when we were kids." 

I get it, believe me, I do, but all I ask is that just this once you listen to me.  

Haven't I always taught you that people are more important than things? That means you are more important than your opinions (things), don't you see? Opinions, and philosophies they are just things. By clinging to your precious ideas at the expense of your Faith you are wagering a mountain of gold against a bucket of sand. You are making yourself as devoid of value as a daydream, that one moment is and the next is forgotten.

There are infinite ideas in this world, all up for grabs, depending on the stages of human growth. Furthermore, old ideas become obsolete as we mature, so they are discarded and get picked up by younger generations to continue their endless cycle. So much for our cherished ideas! The only thing that is not recyclable is you!

Don't make your gold and silver inlaid ideas your life-guides. Rather, seek the Truth in all things, be ready to admit errors and be quick to mend your ways. In other words, be humble.

So, if you want to commit to something worthwhile in life, don't let it be your ideas or your opinions, but choose something real, choose the Source: Jesus Christ, the only true Superhero that ever existed. Accept Him as your Lord and Savior and ask Him to walk with you.

All superheroes are based on the idea of Jesus, you know: They enter great dangers in order to save others. That's what Jesus did for us, for YOU!  And while the comics superheroes never get a scratch, so it doesn't cost them anything to save people, it cost Jesus incredible pain to save us. 

Just think for a moment, He gave His Life in exchange for ours! What a wonderful superhero! Wouldn't you agree that He must have known more than we know, or He wouldn't have regarded doing such a thing worthwhile? But He did!! He gave His Life for us! So you know you can safely trust Him!

Oh I see, you even doubt His existence. But why? You don't doubt the existence of other historic personalities such as Alexander the Great, for example, Attila, Plato, Caesar, etc., why then doubt the many reputable scholars and archeologists that present us with the life and deeds of Jesus Christ?

No, He was not a looney. If you just read the Gospels you would see very clearly that Jesus was Wisdom personified. His words changed people's lives and still do!

Many people who oppose God, haven't even read the Gospels or the Psalms or the Prophets. They speak against God purely out of bitter hostility towards authority, towards hypocrisy, and from a place of personal pride. They place their trust in creatures rather than in the Creator. They worship the effect and neglect the Cause. Are you one of them?  If so, why?

I heard it said so many times! "I don't believe in what I can't see or touch." Really? That's so old it no longer applies to our Time and Age. Why? Well, here are a few good reasons why: Tell me, can you actually see and touch black holes?  No? Why then do you believe scientists when they say that black holes exist? Can you see and touch  dark matter?  No? Strange, because scientists say it exists! I could go on, but you get the idea.  

Today we know that many things exist because of various indirect observations, through the effects they produce, but we can't see them directly and we can't grasp them with your hands. Pay attention, because that's always been the case for God, throughout the ages. He has always been visible (indirectly, through observations) to those who have eyes to see and likewise heard by those who have ears to hear. 

When we think about it, we are all so blind and so ignorant that we really should do ourselves a favor and not box us up into the little world that we can grasp with our senses. 

What are the indirect observations that tell me that God exist?  

There are too many to list, but what comes to mind right now is that the existence of love reflects God's Love for us all.  Family love, for example, the way it's meant to be, reflects God's Love in a special way. Family is a place of nurturing and shelter, a safe place, a homey place, a place of learning and playing, a place of compassion and self-giving. God is present in a special way wherever His Love is generously given.

The love that parents give their children is the expression of God's own Love. So love your children and observe how much God loves them! 

However, not all love is the same: By the time God's Love is filtered through our sinfulness it becomes human love meaning that it doesn't shine in its original form and sometimes it's manifested imperfectly, so it becomes dim or even dark as in the case of parents who don't love, don't care or even, God forbid, hurt their kids, that's NOT how God intended it to be.

So when you find yourself loving your child very much, realize how much that child is loved by God, Who is giving you the love with which to love your child.

God is the Love of our love and the Life of our life.  Without God's love there can be no love, and If we say, "I Am," those words are a testament to the Truth that without God's Life in us we would not exist. The very fact that we exist means that God exists, without Whom there would be no "I Am", no existence at all, meaning no life. Without God there is nothing, perhaps something like the concept of dark energy, and that, I think, is a form of hell.

God is the Supreme Source and Cause of all that is. If Cause and effect exist, and they do, although we can neither see nor grasp them, it's only because God exists first. He is the One and Only, the Absolute, the Supreme Point, the First of firsts, so to speak.

Your response might be, "what if one has no Faith?" 

Faith is a gift, and God offers it to all, but accepting a gift implies a certain humility, and if you lack in humility you will not be able to accept a gift from anybody, much less from God. So strive to lose your haughtiness and don't think you have all the time in the world for a death-bed conversion. Many who are now in hell thought the same thing and now regret it. 

Talk to God, He will answer you even before you have finished your sentence! He knows every thought you have ever had, nothing is hidden from Him, He knows you better than you know yourself, and yet He still loves you. He is your true Father and Mother. Love Him, because He alone is good and the Source of all goodness. Respect Him and be reverent in His Presence and pray. 

Don't look to your right or to your left in your relationship with God, because each one of us is called in a different way, and we can't know what truly is in another person's mind and heart. Only God can. What clearly looks like hypocrisy to us may just be a stepping-stone in His sight.

We are not perfect, but we are not junk either, and we are redeemable in His eyes. Strive to love and please God by doing what He commands. Remember Our Blessed Lady, Jesus' Mother at the Wedding of Cana, in John 2:3 when she said to the helpers, "Do Whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do."  And the servants obedience was rewarded by the miracle of changing of water into wine. 

Love one another, be kind, always forgive from the heart, and please don't forget to pray! 

Prayer is communication, just talk to God, chat with Him, open your heart, make Him your best friend and confidant. That way you can be sure that you are praying to Him from the heart, and when you pray from the heart He responds immediately. But you have to be honest with Him and you must be present to him with your whole self, that is thought, focus, heart, emotions, you must be at one with yourself before God, because that's what it means to be true.

My children, I told you all these things because I love you and I want us to be reunited one day, and share in the same joy in Christ, our Savior.

May God's Love shine upon you and may Our Lord Jesus Christ increase your Faith.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Infused Contemplation

By Chris Mcals

Infused and Active Contemplation

Infused Contemplation, is a supernatural gift by which both mind and will become totally centered in God. Under this influence the intellect receives special insights into spiritual truths, and the will is alive with Divine Love. Those who receive the gift of Infused Contemplation should cultivate the interior life, practice the virtues, and break with fetters that may still keep them in bondage.

Active Contemplation or Contemplation in Action, happens when Mary and Martha join together to bring God's Presence and Action into the world.  Active Contemplatives are as recollected and prayerful as are those who enjoy the supernatural gift of Infused Contemplation but are, at the same time, actively involved in the world around them. 

No one gets to choose one or the other, because sometimes the gift of Infused Contemplation is given regardless of the circumstances. For example, parents who have received the gift of Infused Contemplation, have no choice but to be both Mary and Martha, for the sake of their family, hence they are Contemplatives in Action. Still, when we are in an intimate relationship with God, we are able to approach reality from a Contemplative's perspective, no matter how many things we have to do during the day.

Contemplative prayer requires sitting quietly in the Presence of God and it can be delightful, painful, or both, depending on what God is working in the soul. This sitting in God's Presence, despite the pressures of time constraints and ever changing moods, is the Contemplative's way of letting God know that he places his trust in Him. To trust in God means to let go, and let God.

Twelve Signs of Infused Contemplation

Fr. Aumann, Author of "Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition," lists twelve characteristics of Infused Contemplation, as follows:

1. It is an unmistakable experience of God's presence, experimentally and intellectually.

2. This is also an invasion of the soul by the supernatural as God inundates the soul with supernatural life.

3. The experience will not last a second longer than is desired by the Holy Spirit who causes it with the operation of His gifts.

4. The soul cannot contemplate whenever it wants, but only when God desires and in the measure and degree He so wishes.

5. The experimental knowledge of God enjoyed is not clear and distinct but obscure and baffled.

6. During this mystical prayer it is impossible for the soul to doubt about God's very presence and activity within, although the soul may doubt about it afterwards.

7. The soul also enjoys a certain moral certitude of being in the state of grace. Yet this certitude is far superior to that possessed by ordinary Christians in the ascetical state.

8. This mystical experience is indescribable as such, beyond the expression of human languages.

9. Although this mystical union with God may last for a long time, sometimes it is so brief as if it is nothing more than a divine touch. It also admits of variations and fluctuations in intensity.

10. When mystical contemplation is very intense, the body may react visibly. "The eyes become clouded and dull, the organism is weak and intermittent, with an occasional deep breathing as if trying to absorb the necessary quantity of air; the limbs are partly paralyzed; the heat of the body decreases, especially in the extremities…" [Please take note that there are countless types of spiritual experiences.]

11. This prayer may be so intense that it results in an ecstatic trance. Because of the absorption in God, it is often difficult and even impossible for a mystic to give attention to any other prayers or activities during this prayer.

12. A surest sign of true Contemplation is that the soul often leaves this prayer with a great impulse toward a virtuous life. Sometimes the soul may be given a degree of progress in a certain virtue, which has been impossible to attain despite great efforts. However, this prayer does not instantaneously bring us to perfection..

The Realm of Unknowing

The desire for God a Contemplative feels is a call originating from the deepest recesses of his heart, beckoning him to discover Love, Truth and Beauty within himself. He no longer seeks to learn "about" God. He now seeks to go to God directly. 

This is the first stirring of a Contemplative's response to God's invitation to a life of greater intimacy with Him. At this point, if a person dedicated some time every day to sitting quietly and alone with that deep naked intent of the soul to God, he would be engaging in Contemplative prayer.

Contemplation is primarily a silence that is pregnant with the fullness of Love. It's a mute longing, a quiet stretching of the heart to God, a calm channeling of the Contemplative's energy to Him in love and trust.

Through the practice of Contemplative prayer and with the help of Grace, the Contemplative will eventually come to love God as the Bride in the Canticles loved her Beloved: passionately and single-heartedly. 

Although the gift of Contemplation is offered to all, it's not all who receive it, because many people at best only give God a passing thought. The best preparation for the gift of Contemplation is to desire to receive it, either knowingly or unknowingly.  It's possible to desire God's gift unknowingly, that is without the awareness of being on the path. This usually happens to Truth and Wisdom seekers.

However, it's not appropriate to approach Contemplative prayer from the standpoint of curiosity or for the sake of religious experiences. When the Contemplative is engaged in prayer, he is opening himself to God alone. However, if one just opens oneself without being wholly present to God, there is no telling what could happen. I wouldn't recommend it.

Besides, if one has not fallen in love with God to some degree, one will not be able to endure upon this path. In fact, the gift of Contemplation in prayer unfolds gradually, through years of dedication to the daily pondering of the truths and values of the Gospel. These will awaken in a contemplative person an appreciation for the mysteries of our Faith that elude his power of understanding.

Outside our mind's limited grasp there is the darkness of unknowing. The Contemplative moves into the realm of unknowing in Faith, Hope and Love as he approaches the unseen and unfelt Presence of God.

Although Contemplation may come naturally to those who have made God their priority in life, it's also a discipline that requires commitment, much like marriage.

Basic commitment to prayer is like the foundation upon which a house is to be built. Without it, the house will not withstand the winds of purification and adversity. This means there is work to do, therefore prayer will often be dry and full of distractions and the Contemplative will be unable to direct his heart to God, however much he may wish to do so. This labor is meant to strengthen and humble him, so that his Faith may rest on a solid foundation.

If at such a time the Contemplative decides to give up prayer, he will forego the opportunity to grow in strength and humility, and he will also lose the joy of discovering the delightful and comforting Lordship of Jesus in his life.

To teach the Contemplative to trust in Him, God will often push him to the limits of his endurance and will not relent until He has solicited the desired response. 

The whole process of learning to trust in God at ever deeper levels of our being can only mean death to the false self. Such death engenders a kind of a rebirth to a new way to experience Jesus, who said: "I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25). Death has many aspects to it. In this case I'm referring to the death of the false self, which will engender the birth of the true self. To die to self is to rise with God to a new plane of existence.

Trust and Surrender

Completely surrendering to God is not an easy task. It may be a long time before a Contemplative is ready and willing to completely surrender to God. However, if God is after someone, He will be in relentless pursuit, much as described in Francis Thompson's poem entitled "Hound of Heaven:

" 'I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind; and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. Up vistaed hopes I sped... from those strong Feet that followed, followed after. But with unhurrying chase, and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy, they beat - and a Voice beat more instant than the Feet - "All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."'

Some Contemplatives have a hard time learning to trust and let go, so they oppose resistance to God, even though they don't really want to. They do so by refusing to give up those things that they know are holding them back, whatever they may be. Endless is the agony of a Contemplative who opposes resistance to God! Neither God nor the false self will give up, and this individual is caught in the jaws of unending suffering. 

Here I'm reminded of a story by the great Hindu holy man, Sri Ramakrishna. One day, he said, a big frog fell prey to a non poisonous snake. So now the snake had the frog in its jaws, but because the frog was too big, the snake could neither swallow it nor let it go. The frog suffered so much pain that it croaked continuously. Had the frog been caught by a cobra, who has venom in its bite, it would have quieted down after a single croak. 

The moral of the story is to avoid resisting God, because the opposition of the false self to God will only prolong your sufferings. You might as well surrender whatever vestiges of your ego are left in you. The sooner you do that, the sooner you will find peace, therefore the Contemplative ought to make up his mind at an early stage to hold nothing back. Those who are beset by fears and doubts will have great difficulty grasping the reality of a Love that is so utterly exclusive and demanding that will tolerate nothing to stand in its way.

To these half-hearted, fearful individuals the darkness and the rigors of purifying Grace will seem especially intolerable. They will think to have given God a lot, when in reality they have only given a little, and so their sufferings continue until they realize that with God there are no half measures: it's all or nothing. St. John of the Cross wrote that regardless of whether a bird is held by a chain or by a hair string, it will be unable to soar. Death of self must be total, and the sooner is occurs, the sooner the torments will cease.


The Contemplative, like Job, is one who sits on the dunghill waiting for God's saving mercy and, while waiting, he grows in patience, humility, love and trust. While waiting for God, the Contemplative will also learn to let God be God, rather than whom he thinks God is, or should be. Letting go of one's preconceived ideas is a must, if you aspire to know God as He truly is. 

The Contemplative is someone who knows that he has been chosen and anointed by God's Holy Spirit. It's God's Spirit that sanctifies him, not his merits or virtues. It's God's Spirit that mandates him, not his own initiatives. For that reason, the Contemplative is wary of embracing indiscriminate activity, regardless of how virtuous or religious in nature it might be. Like Mary of Bethany, the Contemplative waits for the call of the Master, before setting into motion. The kind of activity he is entrusted with by God doesn't cause any distraction from God, rather it enables the Contemplative to love God more perfectly.

The Contemplative loves Truth passionately and knows that God's Truth sets him free from the many delusions from which he suffers. God allows many hidden fears to float to the surface of his consciousness to enable him to acknowledge his brokenness, and thus be healed.

Confession and Conversion are ongoing realities in the life of a Contemplative, therefore he is constantly changing. Nothing is final, nothing is absolute except the unknown, unfelt Presence of God in whom he places all his trust.

The Contemplative is like the tax collector in the Gospel story, who knelt in the Presence of God, humbly beating his chest and asking for mercy. Unlike the pharisee, who felt the need to justify himself before God, the sinner is not afraid, because he knows that God's love embraces his brokenness in order to heal him. God's Love is noble and kind, it's a Love that has the power to destroy sin.

Contemplatives suffer many trials both interior and exterior. One of the greatest trials, I think, a Contemplative might suffer is not knowing how he stands before God.

He longs to be transformed into the Image of Jesus, he begs for a change of heart, still he looks and looks within himself only to see nothing whatsoever that will give him an inkling of an idea of what God might think of him. Is he good? Is he bad? He doesn't know! How is it possible? He knows he is a sinner, but he can't see how he can remedy the situation by his own efforts. He wouldn't know where to look, and what to begin to tackle! This can be an incredibly painful experience. 

He can only attribute his inability to see his failings to his spiritual blindness, and yet he longs to uncover his sins so that he might be able to seek forgiveness and conversion of heart. Of course it's understood that such a person is not in the habit of committing mortal sins, and would never willingly offend God in any way. Such an experience could be a great trial if trust in God didn't trump the fear a contemplative might experience when he doesn't know whether he is good or bad in the eyes of God. 

Not all contemplatives experience the same things. It depends on the individual and what God is working in each soul. Sometimes, when the True self and the false self fight against each other for predominance, the contemplative can't see clearly what's going on within himself. As a result, the contemplative will be unable to judge himself, because the dust hasn't settled yet, so to speak. 

What Should I Do, and Not Do?

In conclusion, if you have been given the gift of Infused Contemplation, Prof. Aumann counsels you below:

1. We should not cease discursive meditation until we clearly perceive the call to a higher grade of prayer. As St. Teresa warned us, when the soul is not sure, it should not try to remain passive and inactive. Such self-direction or pride would produce only empty aridity and restlessness, which goes nowhere.

2. We should immediately terminate all discursive prayer as soon as we feel the impulse of grace toward infused contemplation. "Since this is God's activity, it would be most imprudent for a spiritual director to command a particular soul to discontinue mystical prayer in order to return to ordinary prayer."

3. People so graced should give themselves completely to the interior life and the practice of virtues. They should also break with all attachments that still keep them in unholy or ungodly bondage.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dark Night of the Spirit

by Chris Mcals

How I know that God is More Desirable than Life.

If you read "Why I know" by now you are probably wondering, just what did God do for me that was so powerful to compel me to write this blog? In a nutshell, God made His Presence known and felt in such marvelous, extraordinary ways that I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Him. That means I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, my thoughts, my mind, my very soul were full of His Presence, and His Presence was Love. 

The love I'm referring to is also known as "Agape," an ancient Greek word meaning love which is "of" and "from" God. God does not merely love. He is Love, John 1-4:8, and that needs to be the recurring theme in each one of my posts in this blog because if it were possible, I wouldn't hesitate to shout it from the mountain tops. 

God is infinitely lovable, He is absolutely desirable. There are no better adjectives or superlatives that I can find to place next to those attributes. I know this because I have experienced it in the center of my being, and this awareness, this knowledge will stay with me forever and it's the only reason why I write at all. I need to let others know, if it's the last thing I do in this world.

Yes, you can love God with that kind of passion. A passion that springs from the depths of the soul, and not from human emotion. A passion that I didn't know I had in me. He was my first thought in the morning, and my last thought at night, usually after having tried hard to stay awake as long as I could, just to retain the consciousness of His Presence. Why would anyone do that if they had no incentive, no motivation? Believe me, nothing compares with the awareness of being in the Presence of God. 

Even my dreams were filled with God's Presence, often in the form of vivid dreams and very clear voices that spoke to me and taught me eternal truths. Both my conscious and my subconscious were saturated with the awareness of the Divine Presence.

My honeymoon with God lasted for two years, more or less, during which my third child was born. Afterwards it came and went and it also became interspersed with some very undesirable experiences of soul purification. 

The Dark Night of the Spirit
Finally, after twelve years it became clear that my beloved Father had hidden Himself from me and would no longer return in the same ways, and I was inconsolable. I was in constant tears, wondering what could I have possibly done to deserve such a terrible punishment. I loved Him so much, I longed for Him with an all-consuming love, and yet no tears, no entreaties moved my beloved Father to return to me. 

That's why I said earlier, in Why I Know, that you can't make God do what He doesn't want to do. My relationship with God had been so intimate, so loving and long lasting that I had become like a spoiled child who cried a lot because she wanted to be picked up by her Mom, or at least be with her. God had to "wean" me from my dependency, and it hurt more than I can say. 

I didn't understand, back then, that in our relationship with God sometimes the "me" gets in the way. As long as the self experiences some degree of "personal involvement," or dependency, it means that it isn't dead. Jesus said that unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it won't yield any fruit, and St. John of the Cross said that regardless of whether a bird is held back by a chain or a hair, it won't be able to soar. 

In Exodus 20:5 we read "for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." This is not to be understood in the sense of  being possessive to a fault, as in the case of some emotionally challenged people. God is Love, and Love wants the whole person, body, mind, heart and spirit, although He doesn't force Himself on us. Once He has conquered the first three, He will go on to conquer our spirit, and in order for Him to conquer our spirit, we have to first be tamed, and then get out of the way so that He can do His work in us without our interference.

I knew very well that, left to my own resources, I was going to lose everything that I had gained while God was revealing Himself to me, and this awareness alone nearly tore me apart inside. I experienced the agony of spiritual death, although it wasn't really a spiritual death in the sense commonly understood. To me the experience of the absence of God and the distractions caused by the necessity to pay attention to my mounting daily duties felt like the end of the world. It was a catastrophe from which I felt I would never recover.

Not only did I feel alone and abandoned by the true Love of my life but, just as I expected, the darkness of ignorance gradually descended upon me like a black fog. Here I'm reminded of Mother Teresa of Calcutta's own experience 
in which she said: "... as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear." (To the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, Sept. 1979). 

For years I became convinced of having become lost in desert, waterless lands, because I no longer had the healing dew of Divine Wisdom to nourish me, and to make me whole. All I had left was the light of Faith, Hope and Love to guide me on the now dark and desolate path of my Spiritual Journey. St, John of the Cross calls this stage of the Journey, the Dark Night of the Spirit.

A New Dawn
Things are constantly changing in life. Nothing is forever, either good or bad. And so it is with the Dark Night of the Spirit, because after more than twenty years of darkness I'm now beginning to see the prelude of the light of dawn as God is once again making me aware of His Presence in ways that are unmistakably a sign of the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.

When I first realized that God was still alive and well in me I couldn't have been more surprised. By now I was sure that God had forgotten me, if God could ever forget anyone. For many years I felt ashamed and embarrassed for having somehow let Him down, thus causing Him to withdraw from me. But now I recognized the Presence of the Holy Spirit in my soul, and this time I gave Him a joyful, but calm welcome back. It was as if my beloved Holy Spirit wanted me to know, "see, I never left you."

It started with little things. For example, often the Lord leads me into reading, meditating or praying a passage from Holy Scriptures that will be the Official Reading of the next Sunday Mass, without any prior knowledge or awareness on my part. 

This has always amazed me. It's why I know that I am in union with the Church, and it's also why I know that God cares about His Church, as opposed to what some people think when they say that they can dispense with religion, as long as they perceive themselves to be spiritual.

We need both religion and spirituality in our lives. We need religion, because we have a physical body, and we need spirituality, because we are also spiritual beings.

Another example is that recently I have been experiencing a lasting glow in my soul that holds me still and deeply absorbed in the Presence of God. It comes on its own, without my doing or thinking anything in particular. I may be watching TV and even be very engaged in what I'm watching, and then I begin to feel a sweet bearing upon my soul, which is very much like a glow that has the power to induce stillness of body and mind, and to draw my attention away from what I'm doing, and redirect it to God, ever so gently. 

This is something that I remember experiencing very often in the late eighties, but now I'm experiencing it again. It's God's way of reminding me that He hasn't forgotten or abandoned me. He is still with me, as close as ever.

Love Pains
Could God ever forget or abandon anyone? Not a chance, but when you know that your love is reciprocated, and then stop hearing from your beloved for months or years, without an explanation, it's natural to feel it's all over. You feel forgotten, abandoned and rejected, even if that person is God. 

You keep searching, looking for some fault, some reason that might have caused your beloved to leave you. And when you can't find the reason, the horrible realization that your sinfulness is making you blind to your faults prostrates you to the ground. 

How can I explain the dimension and the depth of the love pains one experiences when God seems absent? Is St. Teresa of Avila's words, "With tears and the strongest desire to die, it (the soul) begs God to take it from its exile."

In this way one learns to depend on God's mercy, since now one has become aware of one's blindness. It is precisely for that reason that I don't know how I stand before God. Am I good? Am I bad? I honestly don't know, so all I can do is cling to Christ for my salvation, hoping in His Mercy.

The Gift of Tears
There is one more gift that God has renewed in me, and that’s the gift of tears.

What triggers the tears? Usually it's the sudden realization that God has been listening to what I was saying to Him earlier, and is now giving me His response. The nature of His response is usually an opening of the mind to some situation that I previously didn't understand. 

I suddenly become keenly aware of God's goodness, of His love and care for all His creatures. My heart swells with loving gratitude and my eyes start filling with tears, because of the overabundance of the joy I feel. The tears are in response to God's communication, and they are always tears of joy and purification. 

Often they come on their own accord, for no apparent reason, except that they always have something to do with what God is secretly working in my soul. They are pure gift.

Why does God do what He does? Nobody can answer that question. All I know, is that no one can be touched by the hand of God and not fall in love with Him. It's impossible!

God Wants to Be Loved
Does all this mean that God wants to be loved? YES! Why not? Don't we humans also want to be loved? We are created in His Image, and love is the common denominator. Love always seeks to merge with love. 

God loves us because Love is His nature and the expression of His Being, and we are the undeserving recipients upon whom He lavishes His Love. 

The effect of the Dark Night of the Spirit is twofold: the first is purification; the second is to make us realize that just as we suffer from the absence of God (we wouldn't suffer if we didn't love Him), so does God earnestly desires our love, and infinitely more so than we are capable of desiring His Love. He wants us to understand that!

Now you see why I know that God exists, why I know that He is more desirable than life, why I know that He seeks to be loved, and why I know that He deserves to be loved with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. 

If you want to know how God made me fall in love with Him, read some of my other posts in this blog, like My Soul Yearns for the Living GodAn Intuition of the Absolute, and Baptism by Fire, for example, then you will see why I said that no one can be touched by the hand of God and not fall in love with Him. He did all that for me and much, much more.

This is why I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God is Love, that we are His creatures, that we belong to Him, and that we owe Him more than just a passing thought. We owe Him our love, our trust, our respect and our adoration, for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). 

You are Mine by David Haas

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