Monday, 19 March 2012

Stumbling forward

I wish my life was a series of straight ascents to levels of awareness, holiness, or just riches and comfort.

Unfortunately my life has been a series of twists and turns somewhat akin to a game of snakes and ladders.  And I seem to have slid down an awful lot of snakes!

I've been thinking about this during my recent bout of being humbled. All it takes to get me on my knees  is for money to dry up.  I'm self employed and sell life insurance for a living. I recently went independent and miscalculated the amount of paperwork etc to get set up on my own. Needless to say my cash-flow took a hit and a good symbol of my financial state right now would be a fish, eyes staring, gasping for waterborne oxygen in a dried out fish tank.  Unless things change in the next few days we could be out of house and home.

However the last few months have also been filled with extra-ordinary grace. Stumbling forward in my business has left me totally dependent on God's grace, and open to all kinds of suggestions.

I started to attend the TMIY (That Man is You) workshops in my parish. This is a men's group that meets at 5:45am every Wednesday and works through a series of lectures on being a man in today's Church and world.  This group start to stir religious thoughts and feelings that had been dormant for years.

Then I went on a men's retreat at the local Franciscan Retreat House. Again more stirring to my soul...

Around the same time my wife and I started to pray the "office" (Liturgy of the Hours) together and we've done so faithfully. It's amazing how the number of arguments and frustrations has decreased.  Praying together led us to search more about our faith online, and as our faith grew we seemed to discover depths of love in our relationship that we hadn't before. For this reason our lovemaking has become more intense and more frequent, and we are "open to life" in this, so there may be news ;) in the near future.

Finally I started going to confession frequently, until I was able to make a full and deeply cleansing confession. The feeling of relief and new life that flooded through me was immense.  My prayer life improved again and I no longer felt so ashamed to go to communion. Communion for me had become less meaningful over the years, and more symbolic, but with my contrition the full realization that the Creator of the Universe is both hidden and displayed inside that piece of bread overawed me.

I should really stop there: speechless and in awe: but then came a call.  My parish priest asked me if I wanted to apply for the permanent diaconate, and after some discussion with "herself" I said "yes!" So now we've been reading up on the diaconate and getting more excited by the whole prospect.

At the root of all this that the threat of poverty has humbled and opened us to God's action in our lives and I truly believe that riches beyond measure will result in our lives.

And I hope we have still have a house at the end of the month!

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