After a couple of days of doing things right – saying prayers faithfully, responding right, performing little duties well, I received a gentle warning early this morning. Being prompted to and also wanting to offer Mother Mary something on the Feast of the Annunciation, I began the Novena and Divine Mercy chaplet this morning. Obeying the voice I heard during the Rosary of the Sorrowful Mysteries last Tuesday, for the Chaplet meditation, I contemplated on the Holy Wounds of Christ.
In the first meditation on the wounds caused by the crowning with thorns, this line stood out more than the others: We show mercy by not only forgiving but symbolically dying to the notion of getting even or telling others about our experience.
Dying to the notion of getting even or telling others about our experience. I read that line carefully, sure that with the inner spiritual strength I was feeling, I would stand strong.
A few short hours later, the exact opposite happened. I fell.
Stung by a colleague who had taken my help for granted, – help I rendered despite tiredness and too much other work – I sought release from my inner hurt and anger. I talked about her to others. I received prompt support and understanding.
Yet, the balm of human comfort did not ease the sting for long.
Within minutes of being comforted, I felt bereft. The little wound smarted with a deeper keenness. And there was no leaf I could find to cover the nakedness of my sin – I had NOT died to the notion of getting even. I had NOT died to telling others about my hurt. I had not even forgotten the warning speared to my heart in the slumbering sable hours of early morning. It was ever before me, like parchment messages held up by unseen angel hands.
Yet, I had willfully turned away from the Cross. When others are suffering so, so much more, under the weight of heavier Crosses. When others are bearing pains far worse. When I myself have tasted bitterness beyond compare in times past, today, over a relatively minor difficulty, I chose the shadows over the Cross.
I fell. But I was not pushed.
As the sultry hours of the day seek their repose, I seek a quiet corner to cry the tears that must be shed. But for the first time in ever so long, I do not cry over my hurt.
I cry because I chose to sin. I cry because I chose to fall when I was not pushed.