Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hide Not Your Face

We tend to look at our role models and think they have it all made. They are happy, they are successful, they are famous, and they are loved. We, on the other hand, can’t seem to muddle through the mess we find ourselves in.

My role models at this stage are two magnificent people – a singing nun, who is my spiritual directress, and a writing priest, who pastors me in the parish and in our community. When I talk to them individually, I marvel at how single-heartedly they pursue the Lord and how they share their lives beautifully to those around them just by releasing God’s power in their very being. I doubt if they know each other, but I count them as two of my greatest blessings, for they both lead me closer to the Jesus whom they seem to know so well.

Not having a calling for religious life, I fail to apply what they teach me to my everyday because I draw imaginary distinctions between their ministry and mine, their vast audience/ influence and my small, sometimes possessive circles of friends, as well as their great roles and my trifling responsibilities. They are my living saints, but I refuse to live like them in every sense of the word, out of fear and more often than not, sheer stupidity.

As I found myself sinking deeper into this state of uncertainty, my voices of wisdom and compassion were somehow called by their respective ministries out of the country. And I, stubborn, slow student, was left to figure out what to do. I could not run to them to wait for them to spell out what God was telling me. I could not receive practical advice or hear freeing sermon. I was on my own, as I was supposed to be.

I could only hold on to my prayer time. Even then, I was afraid to be left alone with God. I had a Companion – a Catholic Scripture diary. I read other people’s reflections on Word Among Us. I had music – Jesuit, charismatic, Christian, even secular – to fill my ears. I could not journal regularly, afraid once more to write my tears down on paper, lest I form a lasting weapon that would poke at me whenever I look back at it.

A sister and friend asked me if I had spent time at the Blessed Sacrament to pour out my heart to Jesus. I bowed my head and admitted that I had not. She simply told me that her life-shattering woes were soothed every time she spent an hour with the Lord. Another sister asked me at another time what Jesus was telling me about my circumstances and my future, and if I had found a specific verse from Scripture to guide me. I had the entire bible – several versions of it, actually in my room, office and car, not even counting the immense biblical resources online – but admittedly, I had not allowed even a single verse to fully take root and bear fruit in my heart, to lift me up from uncertainty and take me to higher ground, where I would see how trivial, selfish, and pessimistic I was being on a full-time basis..

I am a sick woman refusing to be healed. I’m reminded of the man stranded on an island and praying fervently for God to save him. He refused every passing boatman’s offer of a ride, stubbornly waiting for God Himself to arrive in a chariot maybe and hopefully accompanied by lightning and thunder, not knowing that his Savior had already come, because He came not in the form expected.

Remove the scales from my eyes, Lord Jesus, and let me see you, and the wonders you are doing in my life. Let me not fix my eyes on reflections of you, for they could fail, disappear, and disappoint. Remind me that you alone are my constant companion, and I shall exist, nay, live, on the power of your love alone.

The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation
Psalm 27 (ESV)

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet [2] I will be confident.

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire [3] in his temple.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!

8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!

10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.

12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!

14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

P.S. Obviously, this has become my Scripture of choice for now. Every word from this psalm, I shall continue to meditate on until the day when I can reach Psalm 30/31, where He turns my mourning into dancing.

P.P.S.S. Himig Heswita has recorded a sequel to their first venture into live recording, "Songs for Healing". It is an inspiring collection, "Stand by Me Still", and cut no. 4, "Power of Your Love", is my current theme song. Vocals by Sr. Susay Valdez, r.c.

1 comment:

jymdrn said...

Hi. :)
Wala lang, I just want to say that ang galing ni Sr. Susay. :)