Recent Considerations

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As you can tell from my recent posts, there is a great battle going on in my sphere. The battle is self-against-self. I would say self-against-God, but as I consciously want what God has for me, it really is about the part of myself that fights against His way.

I think part of the problem I have is fear. I'm afraid that ultimately it is likely to be boring, sterile, or unpleasant. Can I serve God AND go to the seashore and look for shark teeth? Can I properly serve God AND read Aunt Dimity's Death. I know about eutrepalia, but I wonder how much of what I do can be done legitimately, with eutrepalia as justification, and how much is simply what I want to do.

In other words, I suspect the battle I fight is very much like that of everyone out there. "The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." St. Paul said, "I do the things I would not do and I don't do the things I would do." This is part and parcel of human nature.

What Father Reginald does for me is that he provides me with the rational basis for the battle. This is the truth, it resonates to the very core and it rings true, like a silver bell. It's truth is undeniable. When I read him I am convicted by the words and know that what he describes is what I want (or what part of me wants). At the same time, the large gaps in time between readings represent both a refractory period and an avoidance mechanism. "Don't let this get too close or you'll have to do something about it."

All of this as an elaborate way of explaining much of what you read here and requesting your prayers as I struggle to recognize what God asks of me and to fulfill it. I struggle against flesh and against fear. I fear what I do not know, and I fear what I may know incorrectly. All of the Saints saw the service of God as the source of most profound joy. When I'm really there, will Aunt Dimity's Death loom as nearly so important? I think not. However, part of me, the part trained as writer, and part desiring to be an artist, rails at this thought. How can you just give up all those lovely things?

I honestly don't know. What I do know is that of myself, I can do nothing but sin and only through grace will anything of importance or merit be accomplished. Please pray for me in the battle, as I will do for each of you. Thanks.

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I'm praying for you, Steven.

I don't know eutrapalia from theodicy or any of theose other words, but I know that God is good, and he has given you many good things to love and enjoy. Your family primary among them, but also this wonderful world which we have been gifted with by our Creator, to care for and to take pleasure in. If you don't take the time to look at the seashells, to enjoy the feel of the sand on your skin and the simple pleasure of sun and warmth and sky, you are rejecting His creation and impoverishing yourself.

When Christ walked upon the earth, I know that he loved it. He spent thirty years or more of his life just living-- working, yes, but also looking at the clouds in the sky, skipping stones across the sea, watching children play, enjoying himself at parties and celebrations, and just being human. I am certain that he ate with gusto, laughed with his friends, and sometimes just stood and gazed at the sky as we all do, with awe and love for Creation. There is something inherently good in all of his Creation. Don't forget that . . . He would not want you to become a frantic puritan, trying to scour away all your enjoyment of life in search of Him. Bless you, Steven. Please go look for seashells, and read a few silly novels, and remember that God is Good and He loves you, which is why he has given you the chance to do these things while you still can.

Dear M'Lynn,

There is a great deal of wisdom and truth in what you say, and I truly appreciate your taking time to do so. These words help me battle the irrational fear and help better define what the battleground and battle-lines are: proper balance and proper reverence due the Creator and Father of all and proper weight given to His wonderful creation. What you have written will provide fodder for times of meditation and speaking with God. Thank you.



One of the wonderful things about being Catholic is that is isn't either/or but more both/and. We are not Puritan Separatists - we are called to enjoy our stewardship of the world God made for us at the same time we recognize that we are but sojourners here. Faith?works? BOTH! flesh? spirit? BOTH! Our God is an awesome God who is incarnational. Incarnational. That is the word I try to remember.
The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us. He walked on the beach, made charcoal fires, turned water into wine so the party could go on - and then He suffered, died, and returned to the Father.

You can only move forward from where you are. If you try to jump a few hundred feet up the mountain in one leap, you're likely to wind up further down the mountain once you stop rolling.

Also, be sure that what is guiding you is the Holy Spirit and not your own panicked or prideful will to be perfect.

So: Are you good enough today? No. Will you be good enough tomorrow? No. Will you be better tomorrow than you are today? May God's will be done.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 24, 2004 1:01 PM.

Prayer Requests 5/24/04 was the previous entry in this blog.

Prayer Requests 5/25/04 is the next entry in this blog.

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