Tuesday, 10 April 2012

This is the day....

Here we are in the Easter Octave, 8 days celebrating and re-living the One Day. Is there euphoria chez Rita, I hear you ask? Well, not exactly. The Triduum went better (more prayerfully) than expected. I'm rather exhausted after it, but I have to say things "feel" much like they did last year. There is now an emptyness where once there was the discipline and exile of the wilderness during Lent. I think you are supposed to have some "Eastery" alleluia feelings now and I just don't have them.

 Then again is it all very Protestant to associate feelings with faith? I don't know.

But surely, I should feel "something", rather than a profound emptyness and stillness, which whilst it isn't at all negative, it isn't exactly positive either. My late mother-in-law always called Monday's evening meal the resurrection meal becuase that is where the Sunday roast meat would resurface either as a "tater 'ash" or as cold meat and chips. And on those occasions when the meat ran out, the meal would be known as "resurrection without father".

 I think I'm having a "resurrection without father" experience.

What gives me hope is that I can still stand by my little oratory in the bedroom and proclaim the Te Deum in the morning to the sparrows assembled on the balcony outside. They chirp back enthusiastically.

 I firmly believe that true freedom is the praise of God. All creation is made free to praise God, each according to its kind. If God controlled everything in the universe like it were some great big train set of His making, then there would be no praise and no love; both praise and love have to be freely given and can not be forced or engineered. So the task for me is not to let health and work and other issues associated with the world subsume me and overwhelm me with chains. Provided the praise of God is loud and clear and heartfelt then I am free and nothing else matters; as a wretched sinner I must work with God to aquire the grace to do this, unlike the sparrows, mountains and hills, dews and snows, beasts and cattle, for whom it all comes quite spontaneously.

If the boys in the Nebuchadnezzar's firey furnace could praise God, then so can I.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes being ill can be one mighty block for prayer. Even offering it up is difficult. And the struggle seems endless. But then I wonder if one of the great joys of being Catholic is that when we can't pray, or don't "feel" we are praying, that we can call on the saints to fill in the prayer-gap? I'm not sure if that's good theology and I am not advocating lazyness in prayer, but there are times - long drawn out times for some of us- when just getting through a day is a major achievement. If we are thankful for that, then maybe if all the rest of the prayers are dry, it counts for something with Himself??


la mamma said...

Fr John Edwards SJ said something very, very useful when he came to talk to our parish about prayer: 'Feelings don't matter very much'. Yes, it's wonderful to receive sweet, sweet consolation and we know, don't we, the utter joy of the resurrection. The thing is, Rita, that now I look forward to that utter joy and indescribable consolations that Easter brings... but this year it hasn't. I'm as dry as a bone. So I'm remembering those words of Fr Edwards'. The grace is there, I'm sure. I've had a faithful Lent. I've stuck with my Lord and Saviour and if He chooses to withdraw, so be it.
Does this echo with you? Be faithful. That's all that's asked of us.

God bless you, my dear Rita.

Rita said...

Ah, Shell & La Mamma,

Thank you for your comments. I do remember you in my prayers every night....and oh, how nice it would be for us to have some sweet consolations.

We're sort of still stuck at the foot of the cross. Standing firm, but stuck at the foot of the cross...perhaps it is best not to have any feelings from that perspective, perhaps God is in His own way consoling us by making sure we don't have feelings......just a thought.

My main problem now is a rather sinister anxiety that things aren't as they should be, that the world, the flesh and the devil are crowding in and temproarily upsetting the order of things. Things shouldn't be like this after Easter, but they are...the effort to stand firm in faith and to praise God is becoming increasingly difficult...this is one mighty battle.

love to you both,

Ttony said...

No glib answers, I'm afraid, but prayers for you and for him continue.