Thursday, February 12, 2015

When everything is going wrong, and Jesus seems to be sleeping

Humble Confidence – taken from: I Believe in Love; Reflections on St. Therese

What does Jesus lament most when He is with His Apostles? Their lack of confidence.  “Men of little faith!” This is the main reproach He makes to them.  He does not say to them, “Men of no character, men without energy, without discipline.” No He says, “Men of little faith!”

 Jesus was crossing the lake of Tiberias in a boat with His disciples.  He was asleep in the stern.  A great windstorm blew up, and the waves poured into the boat so that it was already filled.  Seized with anguish, the disciples awakened Jesus: “Lord, save us; we are perishing!” And rising up, He reprimands the winds and says to the sea, “Peace! Be Still! And the wind abated and there was a great calm.” Then, turning to His Apostles, He asks, “Where is your faith?” I can hear Jesus scolding them with gentleness, but with pain too: “Why is this? I was in the boat with you- I slept, but I was there – and you were afraid; you were terrified. You doubted either my omnipotence or my love.  Do you not know after all who I am, and do you not know after all with what tenderness my Heart watches over you continually?” It is truly such doubt that pains and offends Him most. 

But you see, we have lost so completely the notion of the entire confidence that HE expects of us, that we sometimes make a prayer of the words for which He reproached His Apostles: “Lord, save us; we are perishing!”

This is not how we should pray, but rather, “With You, Jesus, I cannot perish; You are always in the boat with me; what have I to fear?  You may sleep, I shall not awaken You. My poor nature will tremble, oh yes! But with all my will I shall remain in peace in the midst of the storm, confident in You.”

In hours of anguish, think of the Divine Master calming the violent storms with one word.  This will be a tremendous source of comfort for you as you wait – peacefully- for Him to waken. 

The great tempest is what our sins stir up in our souls.  It is there that Jesus must arise in order that “a great calm may descend.”

Listen to what little Therese has to say in the fable about the weak little bird who, not having wings strong enough  to soar in the heights, at least has eyes and a heart to gaze at the Sun of Love: “With bold abandonment, he remains gazing at his Divine Sun.  Nothing can frighten him, either wind nor rain; and if dark clouds come to hide the Star of Love, the weak little bird will not move away, for he knows that on the other side of the clouds his Sun continues always to shine.” 

“I am not always faithful, but I never get discouraged.  I abandon myself into the arms of Jesus, and there I find again all that I have lost and much more besides."

Since He has granted it to be to understand the love of the Heart of Jesus, I confess that He has chased all fear out of my heart.  The memory of my faults humiliates me, leads me never to rely on my own strength, which is nothing but weakness; but even more this memory speaks to me of mercy and love.  When we throw our faults, with a completely filial confidence, into the devouring furnace of love, how could they not be totally consumed?” 

May these words remind us, that even when everything seems to be going terribly wrong, Jesus is there, whether we feel Him or not, He will be there to take care of us and make sure we make it through the storm alive.