Being separated from our illusions is painful, especially our religious illusions. We cling to a notion of spiritual perfection shaped by human wisdom and driven by the ego. Only the cross - the reality of suffering Love - can lead us to surrender our grip upon that illusion; can help us understand that our limitations (physical, mental and spiritual) are vehicles of grace.
Without this understanding, we will never love the Church completely. We must love the disfigured and suffering Christ within it, never shrinking from the task of love. More importantly, we must allow Jesus to give Himself to us through the woundedness of the Body and never simply in spite of it.
Everything in your life he has designed to free you of self and expand your heart to enter into his limitless Love. The things that seem most to be an obstacle to this are usually what most deeply frees and opens out - if we surrender deeply enough . . .
People look in the wrong direction for holiness. Subconsciously they are expecting transformation in Jesus to mean that they cease to be themselves: they become "perfect." But if we think holiness is "perfections" we have never understood the human reality of Jesus. In his "weakness" we are real. And just as his Love doesn't transform our physical limitations, so neither does it our psychic: the stupid remain stupid and the emotionally unstable retain their personal affliction. But now it is "different" - it is a vehicle of grace . . .
All that we are is potential entrance for his Love, but it humbles us to admit it! Here is the great actual divide between what people really believe and what they think they believe
Loving the Church:
Remember always that the Spirit of Jesus found only one perfect expression, and that was Jesus himself. And following comes his dear pure Mother, as proof of what Jesus will do in a surrendered heart. Only He could receive the Spirit wholly from the Father, but Mary and the saints are in their degree wholly given. But only these wholly given ones can show forth anything at all of the Spirit. Think of the Church, which Jesus loves, which is himself, in a mystical sense, and think of the vile shameful things in her history, and of the bitter tears we still shed over her image and actions today - the complacency, materialism, lovelessness - the sheer non-Jesus face she shows the world and drives away from Him, the honest but ignorant. Ah, but it is still his beloved Body, and to reject her would be to reject the disfigured, suffering Christ. Daughter, just as love of Jesus means love of his poor, faithless Church, she can only be made faithful to the extent that His lovers are a force within her. Never say or think you are alien to her; what you are alien to is the dead and crippling elements that disfigure her and conceal with their spittle the lovely Face of Jesus. It is what is not authentic you shrink from, what is false and contradictory to her. I can't bear to hear you think it is the Church "in se" you don't want, but in this life, as Jesus knew in His blood, the image must be continually cleansed. You, and how many more among you, though never fully, and it is for those who share your love and vision to keep it from obscurity. But you can't do this alone - hence the vital importance of community. And finding those who think the same and can support each other is your present task. O Daughter, once again I feel how badly I've put all this, and can only rely on that inward echo of yours that "hears" what He is saying, however blurred the human instrument . . . .
A Deeper Sense of Your Vocation:
How Christ yearns that all things should be "consummated", handed over to the Father, the work of the Spirit of Love achieved. If we only let Him, with all that it terribly implies, He can't but "do" it. And this applies very specially to the community situation. Lie, pure and open-eyed, in His wounded Hands, even if you "see" only darkness. He sees. He will do it through your very blindness if your eye is pure and attentive.
If I were asked to say what you need, it would be a deeper sense of your vocation. There is a whole area of mystery unexplored yet in your life. You have come so far along the path of love, but still too much in propria persona - if you follow me? You are accepting the pain of the spiritual life, and struggling to give God its sacrifices, but you don't fully see the "abundance" side.
What I am trying to say is that to belong to the Church has a sacramental efficacy. Something of your passionate concern for Jesus, for others to know and love Him, for His sweetness and sheer goodness to be bread and drink for us all: something of this is yours by right of membership - a vine-and-branch mystery, if you let it be so. But you haven't fully surrendered here. Not a thing Jesus blames you for, dear one, but a real area where He is waiting to give Himself through the Body and never "in spite of", which is what you are sometimes tempted to think!
Sr. Wendy Beckett