In a perfect world (we think), we would have all of our heart's truest wishes. This would make our lives complete and fulfilled. The groanings of our earthly vessels hold out for such secularly minded hopes and dreams even as God our Father reminds us that it is not so. With perfect wisdom and love, Our Heavenly Father knows best. Just as a mother eagle must push her nestlings out of the comfort she has built for them - in order for them to fly - so too, does God give us constant nudging into spiritual maturity. Were we to live in the worldly perfection we so wrongly desire, we would not find our need for God. This is His spiritual gift of love for us - for without sacrifice there is not love.
As the Bible tells us, "unless the seed falls to the ground and dies, there will not be life'.
The dark night of the soul was experienced by many who are saints today. Saint John of the Cross comes to mind. Because in the dryness of spiritual darkness, lies God. When our earthly vessels are emptiest, we reach out to Him for love the most. For without sacrifice there is no love. If our lives were always perfect we would not find our need for God. Only with imperfection are we driven to the perfection of God. In His perfect plan, God did intend us to live in difficulty. He said, "take up your cross and follow Me".
However, even as we are willing to suffer some mortification, of our own choosing, when God chooses it we are often not quite so willing. Yet the bitter gifts of God develop our spiritual gifts. We are admonished to die to self. He does not rob a soul of peace – he gives the opportunity for purification. In order to gain true happiness and our own perfection, we must intensify our love of God. We must accept the sacrifices he lays on our hearts. Our sufferings and trials must be looked upon as a gift of God – only then will we truly love. And when we truly love, we will become more perfect children of God.
This Lent, let me allow God to work within me - through His perfect Will. Let me accept my trials and sufferings with Grace so that I might find a more perfect love of God!
*This post was inspired by thoughts by Venerable Fulton Sheen.