To stay in the experience of the presence of the Lord when we ourselves or our – mental and social – “product” seems to prove the contrary, it may be useful to go back to what other people have already experienced. I cannot deny that I do not know how and what to do anymore: the meaning of life, which I have pursued so far, crumbles. I am in pain and I experience myself as deeply inadequate. There is still His help, that of the one who gave me the strength to be what I am and fulfil the true, just, beautiful and good things I have constructed. It is still there. Certainly, the witnesses of the Lord assure me. He is present, but I have to open to Him and to His aid. I open to His present help if I decenter myself: the path is not thanking Him for one thing or another – which I probably do not even see anymore nor want to recognize – but because He is there. “Before” me, there is Him. Also, although not only, for me.
I say good things about Him, I bless Him. Do I feel He is too far away to talk to Him? I know – if I am honest with myself – that I am deceiving myself because His patient and good gaze reaches everywhere, and if I my sight is too obfuscated to meet it, there are authentic witnesses of His presence to get interested it. His followers did not interest me alone once. Despite all the proofs of the risk of such an adventure, there is always someone who attempts and enjoy it. Oh, God, patient with all of us, present in the history of men who have followed your Son Jesus, I bless you with them and for them.
And I gain back a bit of hope about the possibility to receive your gift and your help: I must however agree to experience need of them every moment. As it happens now. At the beginning, I could think that it was about managing life once and for all with some good choices, with an illuminated plan: now I discover that the path of discipleship is not easy, but there is only one step that is truly wrong. I do not have to go back “inside”, I must get away from “inside”, from the illusion of a successful life outside Your presence.
It does not matter too much – it is not decisive – if I see myself marked by deep negativity from which I thought to be free. I am traveling with Christ, behind Him, who is more concerned with my success than I am. I hope that his gift will intersect the caliber of my measurement, while my Self is practicing in expanding, not to lose anything of the messages he addresses me with, in the silence of His respectful and liberating presence.
Sometimes, I fear to foolishly lengthen times more than necessary, with respect to what I could already have been, considering everything I have received from Him. But ultimately I leave this thought go away and welcome what you suggest me instead: “Offer yourself”.
“I offer You the awareness and certainty that my life, even in this moment of fatigue and discouragement, is a good and worthy life. Beyond appearances, is a life through which you continue to trust me. I do, my Lord, with Thee what Thou ask me”.
Annamaria OSBap Valleys
Monastery San Pietro, Montefiascone (VT); Viterbese Theological Institute
aggregated to the Athenaeum of St Anselmo (www.anselmianum.com)