Saturday, January 14, 2012

Divine Presence

by Chris Mcals

Pouring out a thousand graces, He passed these groves in haste; and having looked at them, with His image alone, He clothed them in beauty. - Spiritual Canticles

After my descent from the top of the lofty mountains where God wounded my soul in the burning furnace of His Love, I had to learn to live once again in the valleys of the world to be true to my vocation as a wife and a mother. However, my soul found happiness in nothing but God, the Father of Jesus. 

Although the Father's touch was light and merciful, it was enough to cause me to come undone, and to be totally consumed with burning longings for Him. That's just one of the reasons why I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God exists. Nothing can satisfy the deep hunger of our soul but God. He alone is our Happiness.

I wasn't in the habit of dwelling on my mystical experiences any longer than it took to jot them down in my journals. It isn't that I didn't value my experiences, but I was more interested in the Source whence these Divine consolations came, and I would have instantly given them up if, by so doing, I could have soared to my Beloved Father, and forever lose myself in Him.

My purpose here is to share the knowledge that I have received directly from God through the Anointment of the Holy Spirit. I can affirm with total confidence that God is infinitely more desirable than life. There must be a reason why I can confidently affirm that I can do that!

If I had only been interested in God's consolations, I wouldn't still be missing Him as much as I do now, over thirty years later. The loving wound that He opened in my heart (soul) is still bleeding, and since God is the One who inflicted it, He alone can heal it.

I often wonder why did God start something if He wasn't going to finish it. Why did He wound my heart, and then leave me? 

Very often, when I talk to Him, I weep profusely because I miss feeling His loving Presence, but there are no longer questions in my heart, because, like Jesus, I learned obedience from what I suffered: "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered." Hebrews 5:7-10.

Learning to know my place was a long and arduous process, because in the euphoria of love we often tend to forget that we are sinners, but I learned to accept God's Will, even though it hurts. All I know is that the Father is infinitely desirable, and that my longings for Him will never leave me.

Perhaps, I once was that lost sheep that He picked up by the wayside, and while His heartbeat was so close to mine I couldn't help desiring that He would never put me down.

He graciously let me graze in His green meadows for a while. There I foraged for years, basking in the sun of his wonderful Presence, because even though I could no longer feel His heartbeat, I could still perceive the radiance and the warmth of His comforting Presence. 

Very gradually, the life-giving rains stopped falling, and all the grass disappeared; the meadows turned into a wasteland and then night came, casting its veil of darkness over me and on all that was beautiful and happy around me, hiding from me the Presence of my Beloved Father and my God.

Here I have been standing alone and waiting for Him to return for many years, wondering why did my Beloved Father leave me alone in the dark and without nourishment for so long. For well over a decade I suffered the agony of unconsolable loss, which matched, in reverse, the degree of joy and exhilaration that I had been enjoying in His Presence. No amount of tears, no entreaties moved the Father to reveal Himself to me again. I've often felt cast away and abandoned, like an old shoe, without understanding why. 

The questions that kept popping in my head were, am I a reject? Did I disappoint Him? Did I prove myself to be utterly unworthy? What should or shouldn't I have done to keep this from happening? I understand that very often children who go through the experience of parents divorcing each other, often ask themselves the same questions. They are convinced it's their fault! 

To be honest, I still don't know whether it was my fault. I say that because the nature of the Divine consolations seemed to demand total detachment from all worldly matters to the point where even ordinary things like food and sleep took second place to the Divine Presence. 

St. John of the Cross said that regardless of whether a bird is held by a chain or by a hair-thin string, it will still be unable to fly. I was a mother and a wife! How could I possibly have freed myself of all fetters? I did the best I could without disrupting the normal environment of my family life, but maybe that wasn't enough.

It probably doesn't matter. It is what it is. All I know is that, because I have had a glance of God's beauty and power, and felt His Love in my heart, I'm firmly convinced that God exists, and nobody can convince me of the contrary. 

Had I been born blind, I wouldn't be missing the beauty of His splendor, but for a while my eyes were opened and I could see and feel, and then the sight was removed from me and I assure you that the pain one endures from the awareness of being blind is far worse than the pain of someone who is blind but thinks that he/she can see. 

I am here to tell you about what I saw when my eyes were opened, but in the end it would be best if you could see it for yourself. Just one caveat. If our Lord is pleased to give you the experiences that He gave me, be prepared to suffer. You can't draw closer to the Father without following His Beloved Son Jesus to the Cross. 

Like a Shepherd He Feeds His Flock

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