Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cannot Do This Alone

In the world of mystics and mysticism, these virtues set Christian mystics apart: mourning and the perseverance of suffering. Much of “pop-mysticism” is about avoiding suffering and “thinking happy thoughts”, while Christian mysticism takes a more head-on approach. The perseverance of suffering is required because much suffering is caused by our own misplaced desires and worldly attachments, so therefore, much suffering takes place as God purges us of those attachments.

As St. John of the Cross would explain, the darkness is not from God but from the light of God exposing our own darkness. The Dark Night of the Soul is the point at which most people give up, and usually take medication. For those who preserver, God rewards them with the secrets of His Kingdom.

The world tells us that sadness and pain is an unnatural state of being that we must escape at all costs (Prozac anyone?). The mystic heart knows that sadness and suffering are often the gateways to discovering the light of truth. Do not run from the darkness, for it brings the light.

With that ... Allow me to share this poem/prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer ...

Cannot Do This Alone O God,
early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and double-minded. your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” - James 4:8-10

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