Sometimes, often lately, I feel like I will never be a better wife, mother, Christian. In the words of St Paul:
What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Romans 7:15
So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. Romans 7:21 (NAB)
I am battling myself, and that is the hardest battle. I now more fully understand "the enemy within". As I beat back negative thought after negative thought and futile feeling after futile feeling, I am tempted to say my faith is no help at all right now, that I am on a slow, inevitable slide with every now and then a tiny ledge to cling to for a few moments or a few days.
But I know that is not so. My faith is each tiny ledge, each reprieve. My faith means I do not speak all the foolish words I could. It means I stop the thoughts - Thou shall not pass! It means I keep going when I want to give up on myself, a sinner who requires too much work and is too beaten down by the struggle, by her own innumerable foibles.
This past Sunday, one of my days of hope and reprieve, our Gospel reading at church came from Mark 10: 46-52:
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage, get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. (NAB)
And I found in this passage a personal message from God's living Word. Essentially, I must not give up. I am going through a thing right now, not unlike a spiritual, emotional and mental blindness, but that does not mean I should give up on myself. No, I must call out to Christ all the more. It means I must ignore the thoughts that tell me to be quiet, to sink, because I am not worth the effort, and instead I must recognize the words, thoughts and situations that are plainly saying, "Take courage, get up, Jesus is calling you."
When I spring up to meet Him, and He asks what I want him to do for me, I need only reply, trusting in my faith to save me, "I want to see." And, as our Deacon said in his homily, just like Bartimaeus, when Christ tells me to go my way, I must choose His way.
Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:24-25