Letters to Jesus (Seeking Spiritual Connection) - 2
Scheduling, categorizing, and devising ways and agendas for becoming closer to You in this life may be the beginning of perfection, but real perfection is not reached until it comes without thinking or scheduling. What I mean is, it’s a process of making the things we do so much a part of ourselves that they become second nature.
So, I am still firmly planted in the “practicing” stage – practicing till I get it right; and I so often think that that will never happen. I time, schedule, and categorize bits and pieces of each day to do things to draw me closer to You. In varying degrees they accomplish this. I’m strongly influenced by the simplicity of monastic structure. But the things that I do, for the most part, have not yet become second nature in the sense of breathing or walking. I can’t see that they ever will – though I desire it. I look forward each day to them. I anticipate them. I embellish them. But, unfortunately, they never seem to become so fully interiorized as to be second nature.
Thus perfection eludes me and my lackings in this area become just something else in my life to heap on the pile of things for which I must rely on Your love and forgiveness; and that becomes the hope to which I cling as I grow older. But, like Thomas Merton, I like to think that my desire to be better and to do better is what pleases You more than my success.
The spiritual writer, Fenelon, points out that serving You does not mean living a dull, gloomy life. It does not mean living with the expectation that God wants us to do difficult things. It’s all about keeping our hearts set on You in whatever we do; and that is not a difficult or gloomy thing to do, but it does take practice; and when we practice it pleases You.