Monday, November 9, 2015

Fear has big eyes

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Fear has big eyes.  It sees everything as a threat and so controls our thoughts and destroys our hopes.  In this sense it becomes an idol.  We invest it with meaning above everything else - including the Love that God has for us and what He gives us.  It directs our thoughts, makes our decisions and drives our actions. It may slow us down but it is not a holy stillness or silence that allows for an encounter with God and an experience of His grace.  Rather, it paralyzes us; prevents us from reaching out to the One who seeks for us at every moment.  Instead of being lifted up by Love we remain earthbound; unable to break free of the moorings of our fears. Our vision becomes warped and we are prevented from seeing His Eucharistic Face.  We are everything to Him and yet we minimize the King of the Universe.

Any importance given to person and things reduces God's presence and activity within the soul," writes St. John of the Cross.  God wants to protect me from being so deeply wrapped up in people and things that I push Him out.  Through preoccupation with what He has created, I can effectively cover Him up.

My life will always be quite topsy-turvy if I have more regard for people and things than for our Eucharistic Lord.  I can get so wrapped up in my possessions that they begin to take me over to my detriment.  I get so drawn away from God that I scarcely relate to the Eucharistic One.

I can get so absorbed in my work, it can be like a drug.  Workaholics suffer by pushing God out.  Results become my spur.  In being so attached to them, I marginalize the Eucharist.  I don't hand over my concern about the results to Him.  That is odd since it is He who determines the outcome.

St. John of the Cross tells us that the more we identify ourselves with things, the more we become subservient to them.  I get so wrapped up in my surroundings, I drive God into the outskirts.  So we all suffer when the living Eucharistic God actually disappears from my daily life as if He doesn't exist at all.

Fear has big eyes, according to the proverb.  What I fear can grow enormously, engulfing me so that both the world and our Eucharistic Redeemer cease to matter in these moments. Yet He is in the Eucharist for me and the world.  Fear alone exists and that becomes like an idol for me.  My attitude to an idol can either be that of adoring love or fearful rejection.

The more I marginalize God, the more I suffer from fear and haste.  It is not just that I need to slow down.  Slowing down can still be haste if I am continually earthbound.  Real lack of haste is silence within me.  It involves searching for fulfillment in Eucharistic Love.  If I am just thirsting for exclusively earthly love, acting very slowing goes on impeding God's grace.  Allowing my life to be centered on the One who daily comes onto our altars is the only way to save men from the deprivation of anxiety, sadness, and feverish activity.

I may declare I best find God in nature, yet it is by no means certain I am looking for God in this pastime.  It is true that trees are God's gift, yet I can get into a trap if I focus more on them than on God.  They blur my vision, drowning me in the forest by diverting my focus away from the pursuit of amazing Eucharistic Love.  I need to avoid making love of nature my final goal.  The great and beautiful forest can conceal my Eucharistic, hidden God who is always longing and searching for me.

Where am I going?  Should I not change direction?  After all, if I receive the grace to believe in the Creator not just of trees and animals but also of galaxies rushing into infinity, then I may get engrossed in His love.  It may happen that as I look at the star-filled sky, I will simply pray.  I may not be asking for anything but I will be adoring God.  Humbly looking in faith includes adoration.  Maybe I will be led on beyond the lit-up sky to see my own smallness in contrast to the greatness of the Only One.  Maybe I will not just stay in this thought but go on to embrace the inner core of it.  Maybe I will hold onto God's greatness in His very personal, supportive power and love.  After all, these great things are not just there for me to look at with powerful telescopes.  The wonders of the universe are an invitation to draw close to Him in adoring amazement.  Everything created should impel me toward incomprehensible Eucharistic Love.

My prayer of adoration should always more or less lead me to God's amazing reality.  It is He who is adored in the Eucharist; it is He who is worshiped by choirs of angels.  God is always so amazing.  However, we need discerning eyes of faith with worshiping hearts inspired by His superabundant miracles.  These point to His never-ending love for me.  He wants to give me unending opportunities.  He wants me to respond at least to some of this truth; He wants me to worship the Eucharist maybe in the words, "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power . . ." (Apoc. 4:11).  He superabundantly reveals His glory to inspire me to some adoration of the real Master of the Universe.  On the Eucharistic altar He always reigns supreme.

I still minimize the King of the Universe.  In my everyday life I undervalue the Eucharistic One.  Yet my participation in the Mass is a vital part of my life.  I frequently ask how it is that I don't make the Infinite One more important, especially on account of His miraculously incomprehensible Eucharistic love.  Why don't I change in a radical way?  I am everything to Him; I am the one who is unique to Him; He just wants me to share in His eternal glory.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

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