Thursday, September 19, 2013

50 Days of Prayer - Day 26

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Day Twenty-Six

Loyalty and Love



Yesterday we prayed the Agony in the Garden, and I reprinted a previous post of mine on Judas and betrayal.

Today we focus on how we know a thing is wrong, on why it hurts.  Betrayal hurts because we know in our heart of hearts, that it's not the way things were meant to be - not the way they could be.  We know that it is not the way things are meant to be, even if, like the commenter on that post, we have been betrayed multiple times in our lives, and we know that even if we ourselves have betrayed others.  Even if we get used to an evil, we never really get used to it.  We know what is bad by our pain, and we feel pain because we know, down deep, what is good.

The good is always more astonishing than the bad, if once we stop and think about it.  And we would not hurt so much if we did not know there was a place where there was no hurt ...

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. - (Rev. 21:4)

Love is the essence of the New Creation.

Here's another post of mine, written about the same time I wrote the post on Judas ...

***

In Gratitude for Love

30 years ago yesterday, October 1, 1982, I first met a woman who was to become my wife Karen.

Karen in 1982.  She looks exactly the same today - except her red hair is mixed with just a touch of gray!
We have certainly had our ups and downs in that time.  But she has always been there for me, and I have always been there for her.  We would do anything for one another, or for our children.  We don't always get along, but our love is permanent and will abide for eternity.

How hard it is to describe something so simple and so real.

This love, a love between two imperfect and sinful people, has become the backdrop of my life, the air I breathe, the ground upon which I walk.  How easy it is to take such a real thing for granted, as we do gravity or sunlight.  And yet without it we would live as we would without gravity or sunlight - with no support, and in darkness.

We both came into the Catholic Church at the same time twelve years ago; we have argued a lot but never separated.  We are opposites in every way.  She is always honest with me and I am always honest with her.  It is a happy marriage, but not a compatible one!  And yet we've never divorced or been divorced; this is our only and our lifelong marriage.

It is hard for me to imagine the pain of people who grow to love one another and then deliberately and sometimes glibly split apart.  I have lost close friends over the years - in fact I lost every single friend I had when I converted and became Catholic.  None of them chose to stay around, they hated the Church so much (as I used to).  This loss of all my friends was the only real price I paid to follow Christ.  A light exaction for a dear benefit - but a painful one.

And lately I have been astonished at the ease of betrayal that slips out of our hearts.  Even a good friend in Christ can desert another for convenience or in order to avoid inconvenience.  As to betraying Our Lord - hell, we'll do it for a lot less than thirty pieces of silver.  We'll do it for our political party, or for our sexual pleasure, or for something like scoring points in an internet debate.

But remember that not only did Jesus show us true love, He also endured every imaginable type of suffering - perhaps the hardest of which was not the physical scourging or crucifixion, but the betrayal, the abandonment, the desertion of friends.

That, I suspect, hurt more than anything else that dark day, the day when the sun stopped shining and gravity itself revolted and shook the earth.

For the greatest of these is love.  And the worst of these is the rejection of love.

May we always remember how easy it is for us to continue to desert Him, and to desert one another.

And may we persevere in love, never taking it for granted.

***

Let us pray a prayer of simple gratitude for the love we often don't see.

And let us pray ... 


To you, Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves – our hearts, minds, wills and lives and all those works we undertake so they may be for the glory of God, for the sake of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. Holy Mother, our Queen and our Joy, give to our hearts the dimensions of yours and form us in the image of your beloved Son.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Have you gotten to the point that you've known her longer than you haven't known her? I mentioned to my wife that we have to wait about five more years and we will have known each other longer than we haven't known each other. It seems strange.

Dr. Eric