I Am The One You Seek
Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.
It has been said that there are stages in becoming who we are, stages like early childhood, adolesence, middle adulthood, and possibly even the "autumn of one's life" and the like. Without a whole lot of reflection, most of us feel that we are, or were, instrumental in advancing ourselves from one stage to the next. We forget that it is God who moves us forward, and walks with us in our everyday experiences. We all have our own personal story that unfolds gradually, often without our realizing it. Gradually, we find the path that is ours.
St. Teresa of Avila herself alluded to all of this in her writing. Gradually, her experience of God grew deeper and deeper. Thus, she was able to write such offerings as her Bookmark: "Let nothing disturb you, nothing dismay you. All things are passing. God never changes." As we read more of her writings, we realize that she knew how to travel both the mountain and the lowland. Along this line, it is encouraging to hear her assume that sometimes just one step is enough to take us forward and lead us to the heart and embrace of God. How comforting!
Our St. Teresa was known to have a way of moving in and out of many worlds. This included and enviable sense of humor. She sang, danced, and played the tambourine, something that cheered her friends very much. When one of the artists painted her portrait, she responded by saying, "May God forgive you. You made me look like a bleary-eyed very old woman."
Through all of this, Teresa longed to be loved. Gradually, she was transformed through these everyday happenings. It was the same with her close friend, St. John of the Cross. Actually, we know that this dymanic also happens to many people as they walk through life.
The Quest For Love
Take for example Francis Thompson, and his well known poem, "Hound of Heaven". Thompson writes that he fled God down the nights and days of his life. This went on for years. In the midst of tears and fears, he hid from God. He also heard the footsteps behind him and the quest for love. Thompson was afraid that opting for God would prevent him from all the other things he wanted. Sometimes, though, Heaven and Thompson wept sweet tears together, as the sun was setting in all its beauty.
All of this was in long pursuit of great importance, that of Thompson looking for someone to love and someone who loved him. God did ask Thompson if he was open to love, in case he found it. Furthermore, Thompson wondered, "Would that person, by any chance, be God? Then a suprise took place. The Lord went on to say: "All that I took from you, I took not for your harm, but that you might find it in my arms. Rise. Clasp My hand and come. I am the one you seek."
As we close discussion of this moving poem, I am wondering if we ourselves have like experiences. At times, it the Lord waiting and holding a gift for each one of us?
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