Last week, I went to confession, and confessed my holiday blues and the sloth that it generated in me. I confessed the inordinate amount of time I spent watching TV and gaming on my phone. I always love the healing and affirmation I feel when I hear, “you are forgiven.” At the same time, before I left the room, I asked Father something like this, “Sometimes I feel too weak to avoid sin. Instead of falling into a place of despair, I find myself drawn to sitting in awareness of my littleness. Does that sound wrong?”
He said he didn’t think so, and that it sounded like something a Carmelite nun had been saying in her books. He encouraged me to read something by Ruth Burrows, the pen name of the Carmelite nun. I’m only a few pages into a book on her major writings. Her life so resonates with my own, while being very different.
She talks about how Jesus met her in her littleness. This resonates with Paul’s writings when he talks about allowing God to be his strength in weakness (2 Cor 12:10), which is one of my favorite Pauline quotes. She says in this littleness we find the Christ who emptied himself for us. She talks about how in our brokenness, in our neediness, we more profoundly find him who is the way, the truth, and the life. She says that there is something mystical in accepting our imperfections, and in relying on him.
The more I ponder what I have been experiencing in my own spiritual life as enlightened by what I have read of Ruth’s book, the more I realize how much the Christian life must be rooted in being open to one’s weaknesses. There is a tendency to fall into complacency. However, the objective is to find the humility to turn to him who desires to be our strength in weakness. The objective is to learn to hear the voice of Truth that dwells within us as a result of our baptism, and to follow him to a place of healing, a place of peace and joy.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit pondering your own spiritual life. How are you dealing with the fact that you are still sinner while redeemed in Christ? Ask him how you can better live not only in your own littleness, but in reliance on his grace.