Thursday, June 03, 2010

Faith in the Time of Choleric Spirits

The past little while I've felt very unsettled -- at times extremely happy and peaceful without the sword of Damocles over my head, and at others feeling afraid and very vulnerable. Meanwhile, the world around me spins, not just on its axis as its meant to, but as in out of control spinning. The children's marks are dropping a little, they're staying up too late, watching too much TV or on the computer too long, not reading enough, not exercising enough. The ex is looking fat and satisfied with his lot, but there's also an edge to him now that wasn't there before, an aggressive edge even, and he's never been like that. I won't speculate on where it's emerging from, but I can guess. One sister is on the brink of being on the street, the niece is more or less on the street, and I become increasingly aware of the "demons" -- however one wants to define them -- whirling about like dervishes.

Today I read in Matthew 15, the Canaanite woman who approached Jesus fearlessly to have him heal her daughter of demon possession. The woman's confidence and faith won out. After this, the crowds press on Jesus, and he heals the blind, the lame, the dumb, the maimed. After three days of this, he feels compassion for the people who stayed out of faith to be healed, and knowing they were hungry asked for food, blessed it, broke it, and distributed it.

But then Jesus goes to be alone with the Father. He is the centre of this whirling sea of illness, helplessness, demonic possession and so on. He can withstand this only because of the stolen moments of peace and grace that come with time alone with God.

Today's CQOD from Thomas Merton seemed very apt:

When the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtues; in which we have nothing of our own to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us fight--then we find out whether or not we live by faith. ... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Seeds of Contemplation

And as Christ said, come to me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will refresh you. (Matt 11:28)

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