SPIRITUAL EMPTYING

Loader of the Prayer~Cart

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          My weekend began with an examination of my conscience, and a doubting of the path I was now on – to empty my prayer~will. To empty it (of petitions) – for God to fill it. Off and on, through the weekend hours, I kept going back to this – Was it the right thing to do?

          Then, my mind wandered over the changes and happenings that had ensued from the new prayer.

          There had been power. Strength. There had been joyous, unexpected  happenings.

          And yet, I continued to nibble at the certainty, slowly ragged-ing its smooth edges. What if I was wrong? In these days of fake news and lies and distortion and illusions, had I veered off the True Path? What if I was wrong to empty my prayer~will?

          On the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I went before God. You have to answer me, I insisted.

          The first reply came through Susan Skinner’s post, If You Seek Healing. Of the many things that lit up in her piece, this caught me firmly – once you have emptied all of you, you can be filled up with God.

          And I learned yet again that the emptying of my prayer~will was the Will of God Himself. It was not a hardening of my heart, as I feared. It was not a callous disregard of the entreaties of others.

          It was another step in the journey of Surrender that I first began almost ten years ago. One I veered off many, many times, and returned to as often. And now, with the emptying of my prayer~will, I was tentatively opening myself up even further, laying everything of me at His Feet, to be used as He pleased. During Lent this year, my spirit got caught in the Call of the little Consoler, the Fatima seer, Francisco Marto. As I began to try to offer up little beads of Chaplets and Rosaries, solely to console the Wounded Heart of Jesus, like the little Shepherd had done, I learned of this little by-path the  emptying of the prayer~will was leading me to.

          But my learning was in no way over. Something else of Susan Skinner’s post remained in me: humility. When the eyes of my heart turned to it, I found it in a little pouch, its strings fastened such that I could not undo them to understand what deepened meaning Humility held now for me.

          But meaning came soon enough. That night, I read the words of a niece of the soon to be canonized little shepherd-seers. Jacinta Pereiro Marto said, “God chose my uncle and aunt because this is what He wanted, so much that my grandfather used to say that the Virgin wanted to come to Fatima and she chose his children, but that we didn’t deserve anything.” Because of this attitude instilled in the family by her grandfather – father to Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto – “we always lived very simply because God chose, and He chooses who He wants. We don’t deserve anything.”

          Her humility, the humility of that entire family despite understanding the import of the apparitions in Fatima all those years ago, was like a flower bursting into bloom for me. I realized that the erasing of my will in my prayers was a deepening of humility. To understand that it was not for me to ever occupy the driver’s seat of prayers. And not even to decide for myself which prayers to load onto my cart to take to Heaven.

          For the God who chooses me to drive the cart, is the same one Who will decide whose need gets onto mine and whose goes to another prayer~cart.

          Although I still do not understand why I have been brought to this point of placing even this freedom to pray for others in His Divine Will, for now, I feel a deep security in the Marto wisdom, God chose, and He chooses who He wants.

          The same God who chose my prayer~cart, will fill it with the needs He chooses.

 

Stripped

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          It has been weeks of many things. Each little incident chipping away, bit by bit, at the tree of ME and all of earth~fruits that I hold close to my heart. Fruit by fruit removed. A little twinge here, a sharp slice there. Some pain. The branches begin to empty.

          When I asked God, Why?, just musing, not in protest, He answered,

You are being stripped.

         

LENT 34 ~ Emptying to be Filled

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          Uncomfortable. Very, very tired. Irritable. It came soon after Confession this morning. After an entire Mass steeped in the prayer I was called to ~ I immerse souls in the whole sea of God’s mercy. Yet, I am left feeling scratched, torn, dry. I could blame it on the heat and the sand dry winds, but I know it’s more than that.

          I’m experiencing an emptying today. I’m being emptied to be filled by Him. The waiting for the infilling is a dry and difficult time. I sense the claws of a hundred irritations.

          I turn my thoughts and prayers to the emptying. Never one to sit quietly and wait for His will to unfurl its petals, I want in on the action of emptying. Like a child, I want to help too.

          How does one empty one’s soul?

          Only one prayer comes.

          Thy Will be done.

LENT 28 ~ Unfasten the Moorings

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          When God unties binds that hold us to loves, our tears birth seas never seen that our souls may traverse. When God takes away loves we hold close, and when we mourn the loss, we see another world through mourning- one we wouldn’t have seen, any other way.

          We will see the little joys we missed that should have been treasured. We will see that the questions we asked God that seemed so important then, matter little now. We will see that the mountains we raged against were mere bumps of sand on life’s footpath. 

          We will see the seas of grace we were immersed in when all seemed wet and gray.

          We will see glory in the mundane of every day.

          One day, perhaps years from that birth of our weep, we will see that we were loved, because through the tempest of grief, God lit His Light in our souls, and gently launched us out into the sea of His Will, to travel life’s lanes to understand the love we are called to.

          The day will come when we will see that true love means unfastening the moorings of our loves, and releasing them to journey untethered, praying them all the way into the harbor of God’s Heart.

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