I have been selling God short. I have been defining blessings as the world defines blessings: health, material goods, advancements, the “good” life. He suggested that these, while being creatures and initially good when He creates them, can, if we are not careful, very careful, become our gods, our goals, our ends and not the means to praising, reverencing, and serving God and others with, through and in Him. So what issued from His hand as good, and indeed is aptly named as “goods,” become the occasion of our downfall, our idol worship, indeed, our idle worship, also, since the time spent in pursuit of these distractions is, in essence, wasted.
God liberally sprinkles our lives with reminders of His love, His Way…they are the crumbs, the hints of humus, of earth, of our humus existence, of humility, that we follow to find our life in Him and to realize that He has been with us all the time. Every ache, every tiredness, every failure, every set-back, every injury, every sadness, every monotonous drudgery, every carrot that needs peeling, every lunch that needs packing, every deadline that needs to be met, every frustration, every adversity in my life is a BLESSING, a reminder that God is in charge, a reminder that God’s agenda is not the world’s agenda, a reminder that I succeed only when I follow His will, do what He wants me to do, let Him control my life, instead of vise-a-versa. These are helps for me to admit who I really am and not who I think I am or who I would like to be.
I am, in a sense, like the Holy of Holies: a square box, limited on all four sides by exactly the same dimensions. I am no more, but, praise be to God, I am no less…I am, in His estimation, perfect, just the way He made me. And as such, I am the perfect dwelling place for Him, just the one He wants and loves.
Peter was a rock, and so are we all. We are all rocks in the edifice of the Church. Which also implies what it manifests, i.e. that alone, we are only one small part of the Body of Christ; that without me, there is indeed something lacking in the sufferings of Christ; and that without being part of the whole Church, I am good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
Thus, Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the company of Mary, and all the saints and angels, I come before You to thank You for growing old, for the twinges of arthritis, for the allergies of the morning, for the slowness of my typing, for the uncomfortableness of my seat, for the dullness of the day, for the blankness of my mind. All these are Your gifts to me today, to show me You love just me, no super-Paul, no pseudo-Paul, no false Paul, but me, the real Paul with all my reality. These reality reminders are Your gifts that bring me to You, to seek Your help, Your strength, Your comfort to endure. This is Your cup that I must drink, that I must drink daily, hourly, minute by minute, so that I can, in deed, in thought, in word, pick up this life, this cross that You so lovingly made just for me, not too light, not too heavy, custom made to fit my shoulders. And lovingly You encourage me, call to me, cheer for me, even carry me, so that we can climb Calvary together into the Resurrection forever. Amen. Alleluia!!!