Early this morning, I was contemplating the chaste holiness of God. It was a delightful experience – similar to what it might be like swimming in crystal clear springs of Total Goodness and Truth. But, then my thoughts began to corrupt the experience, and it left me. I was made acutely aware of my state of being compared to the most holy God. I was acutely aware of the Lord’s expectation, and my and your duty:
My prayer from this morning was this:
Lord, cleanse my heart with the breath of Your Spirit and with Your Thoughts, that I may become one with You, purified through You, in You and with You. Without You, I am broken and coarse. But, You can make me whole and refined if You will it. This is what I desire, because I love You. Amen
Then, today, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the readings and homily were exactly in line with my early morning contemplations. This is what happens when the Spirit is moving us. We are being prepared even before we see and hear; we may even think about what the Pope will speak about even before he speaks at an audience, for example.
At Mass, we were at the point where the Priest begins the Eucharistic Prayer, and I began to imagine the Lord working in me. The Eucharistic Prayer begins like this:
Priest: “Lift up your hearts.”
People: “We lift them up to the Lord.”
Priest: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.”
People: “It is right and just.”
I prayerfully lifted up my heart, my very soul, in sorrow for my past errors and present unholiness and brokenness compared to God. For He commanded this to be said to the congregation of the people Israel,
“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” [Leviticus 19:2]
The holiness of the Lord is so great, that is, He is so chaste and true and unerring in thought that even the Seraphs, hiding their faces, exclaim:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts…”! [Isaiah 6:3a]
He is not one degree of holiness, but He is root of holiness. We are called to be holy as He is holy, but the gap between our meager attempts at holiness and His actual holiness is huge. We cannot scale the gap without His divine help, and we must certainly try.
But then I saw in my mind,
Jesus breathing His Spirit on my heart, and sparks flying from it like impurities being burned in a fire.
After receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, I heard,
You have received mercy today.
As our homilist suggested today, it was like being baptized again, for as the words of John the Baptist are written about the Lord in Sacred Scripture,
“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [Luke 3:16b]
I felt the Lord was helping me today – saying that He can, does and will help me, but He is the one who must do it in me. And, I must protect what He gives me.
One of the things I struggle with, today, is defining my life of service. I am married, and I do serve my wife as best I can, and improving on that as I go, there is a fuller service to which God calls me. I hear,
Serve God, but where and when and how? And I hear at times of true prayer,
Marry God, but where and when and how? I understand, but not fully since this marriage must be supernatural and in the spiritual realm. There is a future meaning to it now: only a betrothal – a request. I want to doubt it because my understanding is human, but then I believe it because I know that I do not understand the divine; how can I understand by myself?
But, this marriage cannot happen if I am not holy as the Lord my God is holy. I invite Him to make me holy.
I adjure you, Lord.
Make me holy.
Make me holy.
Make me holy.
I desire this.
Have mercy; make me holy!