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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Adoration Meditation: Loving Your Enemy

The Background

Yesterday the fiance and I went to Adoration for some much needed prayer time.  On the way there we had a discussion which left me with a topic to pray about (even though I didn't necessarily want to).

I'm working in a parish again, and it has its stressful moments.  The actions and words of various people, inside the parish and out (abortion and HHS debates, rude drivers, control freaks, and just generally uncharitable people), have made me question why some people can even call themselves Catholics (for they in no way act like it), and unfortunately I have started to lose faith in humanity, the Church, and its people.

Worst of all, I have found a growth of hate in my heart, and it was this very thing I wanted to take to prayer before the Blessed Eucharist.  It's hard to feel hate in front of the embodiment of love.

On our way there we were nearly hit (and likely seriously injured) by a driver who was at the very least distracted, but most likely made a stupid or selfish decision to turn left (I realized later that I really should give him the benefit of the doubt).  I made a comment that I should have hit him as a matter of justice, to which my fiance began to lecture me about God's mercy.  So, considering I have, as of late, lost sight of God's mercy, that is how I decided to approach the topic in prayer.

The Meditation

I opened the book of Psalms (one of my favorite books, especially in times of trouble) and started reading from the beginning.  After about 7 of them, I realized something--the Old Testament is filled with examples of people calling to God for Justice.  In the Old Testament, this was natural and perfectly acceptable, as God was the deliverer of his people, and Israel trusted him to judge their oppressors.  Furthermore, it was this belief in justice after life, that the wicked would parish and the good would be united with him, that gives Christians the consolation they need to not kill or seriously maim those incredibly stupid people (I exaggerate...but only a bit).

I realized however, that Jesus calls to more than that--though asking God to rain down judgement on those who have hurt us (my fiance' pointed out the story of James and John) may be acceptable and sometimes just, it not what the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross calls us to.  We are called, in fact, to wish that that person is actually received into heaven.

This is hard, because in doing that, we are left with no consolation of Justice, except for our own reception and union with him.  I relate it to the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in which everyone, even those who worked less, gets paid the same amount.  This parable, and this act of giving up our own consolation of judgment is SO hard for humans because it is contrary to our nature as human beings.  Mercy is divine, and thus it can only be given through the help of Christ.

We should all only be concerned with how WE will be judged, and furthermore, be seeking to help others "get paid" by receiving the beatific vision.  This is impossible to do ourselves, and thus the only way to truly love, is to let Christ love through you.


* hmarie said...

I have been struggling greatly with this as well. I hate the church hypocrites who judge quickly, because others sin differently than them. I have even struggled with the Church theology at times. Sadly, this has caused me to avoid the Church, in an attempt to curb my distaste. I have tried to pray, read scripture, and attend adoration. No matter what I try, I just can't create the same spiritual connection that I used to have. Although I am choosing to avoid the Church, it is still disheartening to know that I am missing out on that relationship. I am hoping things change soon :(

R.D.L. said...

I'll definitely pray for you. I know you really want to find some way to get back that relationship you had. Might I suggest confession as first step? Also, if you have not-so-busy moments, try reading something spiritual (not necessarily academic).