So, I've kind of been writing this post for a long time, now. Basically the second we found out about more expenses for our Illinois house. And I had this great shpeel about Earthly contentment and then Fr. John's homily last weekend made me rethink some of my reflections. Bonnie also said some of the exact same things I wanted to say in her post here. So I'll try not to sound redundant.
I have a tendency, some might even call it pessimism, to speak in an absolute tone. Without actually using "always" and "never," (because my Family Relations 101 professor would be so disappointed if I did...), I can somehow make whatever situation I'm in sound like it will last for eternity. Does anyone else do that?
Sometimes I get so caught up in the emotion that I'm feeling, be it disappointment, exhaustion, abandonment, or jealousy, that I can hardly imagine a time, past or future, when I won't feel it anymore. And thank God for Jude, the voice of reason and reality in my life, because he reminds me about the goodness of the past and of great things to come and can even find something good about that moment, as horrible as I feel during it. (This is what made him a ridiculously great birthing coach!). He tries to encourage me to find goodness right now and to stop longing for something better.
I'm constantly saying, "Won't it be nice when..." and "I can't wait for...." And when those things come to be, I find something else wrong and say, "Won't it be nice when..." and "I can't wait for..."
My whole defense for this line of thinking was our innate longing for eternal salvation. I'll always be able to find something wrong with Earth, right? And Heaven will be perfection. And even though this is absolute truth, I'm forgetting some important things. Fr. John reminded me...
We are a resurrection people, an Easter people. We celebrate the resurrection here, in present time. And while our hope for people who have died is to go on to a "better place," we live in a good place. And this does not negate the burdens that we carry daily, but instead gives meaning and purpose to those crosses - salvation.
And I'll bet that this isn't new to most of you - many have probably heard of redemptive suffering or uniting our suffering with Christ. And I'm sure a lot of us offer it up when we're dealing with something. But when do we ever unite our resurrections? When do we rejoice with the Communion of Saints for something good in our life - even small pleasures? Without death, there is no resurrection, and there is no resurrection if we dwell in death.
Today, my prayer is that I may participate more fully in both Christ's passion and resurrection and that I, too, may say, "Abba Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will" (Mark 14:36). And when the time comes for me to carry my cross, may the courage for every step come from joy and gladness.