I know that I promised to post yesterday but life has a way of throwing curve balls. I was finally able to get to the keyboard this evening. Yea!
My week in the mountains at The Theology of the Body Institute was just incredible. Both Jerry and I received many graces last week. Everything seemed to come together easily for the trip. My Mom was AWESOME with Courtney and the T.O.B. community reached out and embraced her in a very special way. I am learning over and over again that my daughter is able to reach peoples hearts in a way that is profound and sometimes even beyond my own understanding. She was pure love this past week. She received it and gave it in equal amounts. God is so very good.
St. Teresa of Avila says that "we must allow our hearts to be overwhelmed by LOVE." Last week, it was all about love. God's love for me, my love for Him, my love for my spouse and God's plan for my marriage. So much to take in.
"The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is a place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of Truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2563)
I have struggled for many years with the idea that Christ is My Beloved. I know Him as Father or Brother, but not as the lover of my soul. How could God possibly love me like that? I am not perfect. I sin. I have done many things in my life that I regret. I am fat. I have a wicked temper. I look in the mirror and see a stranger staring back at me. I see every flaw and it's hard to see through that to the good stuff. Where was the young woman so filled with hope and life I used to be? Who is looking back at me now? God in is infinite grace and wisdom gave me an answer. A woman who has forgotten what it is to be loved UNCONDITIONALLY by God.
I knew that I needed to dig deep into myself, change my heart and reorient it toward My Beloved, My God. I needed to fall in love with Him again. I needed to renew my commitment to Him before I could really work on my marriage or figure out my future ministry. I needed to be overwhelmed by HIS love. I had to face my brokenness and give it back to God for only He can restore it. Once again my daughter showed me the way.
When I look at myself I see a broken and scarred woman, so unworthy. When I look at Courtney, I see beauty and light. Why the difference when God sees us both with love? Over the course of the first two days God gently whispered into my heart and kept loving me through all of my uncertainty. This was tough at times. Transformation is never easy whether it be losing weight or creating new habits. Life is about choices and I needed to choose to let God's love overwhelm me so that I could do nothing but sit and bask in it's glory. It was profound. I came to understand that God loves me where I am right now warts and all. He is IN love with me! Can you believe it? It took me a few days to grasp the concept. He is in love with every unique hair on my head and every nuance of my personality. Even the challenging stuff. The wonder of it!
My heart was hardened and Jesus came in and removed the stone. I am overwhelmed by HIS love.
Blessings and Grace,
Labels: catholic family life, food and emotions, marriage, prayer life, theology of the body