Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LIMITATIONS




St. Paul said, "I boast of my weakness."

My pride makes it difficult to bear my mediocrity. At the same time,  I am aware of my worth.

At Taliesen West recently, the docent told an anecdote about Frank Lloyd Wright. An interviewer observed, "You've been called the greatest architect of modern times." FLW replied, "I didn't say that, but if I had, no-one could call me arrogant."

I thought of Christ before Pilate, when Pilate asks, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Christ--the one Person for whom it would have been impossible to over-estimate himself--replies, "You say so." In other words, I didn't say it, but since you have, I'm not going to repute it. Christ was never Oh no, no, don't bother about me. He said, The poor you will always have with you: bring on the nard. He said, Let the little children come unto me--for him, a priceless gift. He said, Pray with me an hour...and we mostly can't, or won't...

So--I boast of my weakness. And as Dostoyevsky said, "There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings."


6 comments:

  1. "...constant work to keep our lamps in oil." Great, great line. I need to think more about this. It makes me think of something else I struggle with: the balance between giving people your other cheek when they attack and standing your ground (a.k.a fighting back) when you must. I think it's about letting God be the mediator so that the right way is always pursued...
    Not sure if that makes sense, even to me. I need to mull this over some more.
    Cheers Heather!

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    1. Makes TOTAL sense. I just returned from Mass, where I knelt thinking, My God, shut UP already, you are a war-monger, violent, critical PHARISEE. Christ does not need your carping "opinions"...But yes, it's a huge tension that we carry always and is part of the Cross. Maybe we are always going to veer a bit too much one way or the other: silence out of fear on the one hand; "speaking out" from anger, pride, desire to make a mark on the other...

      I was talking to a friend of mine (who IS a mother, wife, nurse, all-around amazing, deeply spiritually grounded person for whom I thank the Lord above) the other day and she was saying that one great desire of the human heart is to have an effect on someone's life. We want to feel in some small way that we matter: that we have helped shape someone, encouraged their growth, have loved and been loved. I was going to say that is one of the special challenges of being single but really, that's the challenge for all of us. "Unless a seed fall to the ground and die, it abideth alone"... That is a hard truth. Much easier to see that the other person needs to "die"--very difficult to see, one more time, that I need to die myself...

      Thanks, DJL!

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  2. I have often wondered what God's purpose is for me. Why am I here? I do not have the gift of leading or following either so where does that leave a person who lives in a huge family? Single, yes I can see that but married with children and grandchildren?

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  3. I am very thankful for your one tiny gift. It nourishes many.

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  4. The best a mother can do is to pass on -- with great love -- what she knows to be true. It is this spiritual mothering that I see in you… a nurturing that is one of listening and letting conversations come about for the good of all. Your writing is part of those nurturing conversations. Thank you for it.

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    1. Pat, how sweet and how kind!--thank you so much for this. And to Philothea and Steve as well. The best I can figure is wherever we are, that's where He needs us...

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