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April 19, 2011

Holy Week: Tuesday

“Yet I hear you saying to me: It sometimes seems to me that I am without this desire [to turn to God].  My answer to this is: Why do you feel such grief upon the subject of this seeming lack?  Loss of an object causes grief only in proportion to the affection you have for it: if we had no regard for it, we should feel no grief at being deprived of it. . . . If then, this seeming absence afflicts you, evidently the absence is not a real one.”
– Father Jean-Pierre de Cassuade, S.J., taken from “Meditation of the Day”, Magnificat, April 9, 2011

This passage reminds me of a book I read senior year of college that had an enduring impact on me, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen.  Nouwen reads the decision of the prodigal son to come home, without any hope of fanfare, as an indication that the son wasn’t, in fact, entirely gone.  That he can decide to return to his father means that he has already reclaimed his “sonship” and in turn, his father’s authority and love.

In motherhood as much as in any other vocation, humility like this is essential.  Especially in times when I can think I am in control–and as a mom, I sometimes need that illusion–I must remember that I am not the authority, not the be-all, end-all.  There is Someone greater; I am a servant, and a very loved one at that.

Humility is so important in a season in which sacrifices and penance can start to feel like relentless punishment without hope of reconciliation, of a million rainy days without a hint of sun.  Truly, though, the victory is already there, the resurrection is already completed, and we will always be welcomed back home.  Because as far away from God as we might find ourselves sometimes, simply recognizing that we want to come home can take us most of the way there.

  1. Karl Schlegel says:

    Excellent! BTW I have read “Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence” which features the letters of Father Jean-Pierre de Cassuade, S.J.on the practice of Self-Abandonment. It is an excellent book. I highly recommend it.

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