The Prize of Obeying in Separation


Today, we add a new leaf to our previous conversation, and let it bring deeper drilling, inflow, and outflow of graces. Recall these lines from the last reflection:

“He Who makes persons the first but not until they become zero/last among all.

He Who makes persons mightier but not until they dethrone their ego and He alone be enthroned, the Almighty; breaking them deeply as to enter the depths of His power.”

(And now we add) The strength of our foundation to carry the weight of a mission/influence bestowed by God is directly proportional to the depths of our being broken. And thus, they who seek future assignment and relevance in the universe, should not despair if the ‘breaking’ takes longer. The weight of great buildings can hardly be carried by shallow foundations, and the more you can drill through the ground/rock (representing our self-will/ego), the greater the assignment exerted upon this drilled foundation, an enormously cultivated heart. In the intelligent economy of God there is no ‘lifting up’ without a ‘casting down.’ One can remain perpetually ‘cast down’ or be swiftly ‘lifted up’ on miraculous escalator based on one’s attitude to what is shared below.

Obedience to His Will is what facilitates the process. Oftentimes He allows ‘casting down’ to test hearts; subjecting them to the decision of an authority His permissive has preordained. What the person does in that moment of seeming darkness facilitates the process. While contemplating this topic, these lines from Lauds (morning prayer) of today got my attention, “He casts down to the depths of the underworld, and He brings up from the great abyss…In the land of my captivity I trust in Him; and I show His power and majesty to the sinful people” (Tobit 13:1-8.)

Recall that when He allowed the Israelites to be taken into exile, He blessed those of them who acquiesced (complied) to His Will, working and marrying in that condition. “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all those he sent into exile to Babylon from Jerusalem…Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper” (please read entire Jer.29.) Many of them prospered who were obedient to His Will even though they did not understand why (like Daniel.) Recall that even His Son, JESUS, Who had not sinned was only exalted after He complied in obedience to the Will of the Father, broken on the Cross and plunged into the depths of Shaol, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant …He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2: 1-11.)

Recall that one of the greatest books that have served as light in darkness “The Dark Night of the Soul” was written by St. John of the Cross when he was cast into underground prison by the authority of his religious order chosen in Divine Will. Rather than be aggrieved and cause chaos from there he turned unto God in prayer, acknowledging that he deserved whatever He permitted, and thus, in that dark abyss he was given a revelation of light that has helped many persons in the universe today who undergo a moment of dryness or darkness. What would you do in this condition that humbled your expectations or ego? God will lift you up again if act right!

Fr. Ignatius Mary ( TMTJ

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