Though I try to pray every day, read lots of spiritual books, lap up saints' hagiographies, attend weekly Mass, visit the Adoration chapel during the week, and go to confession at the start of every liturgical season, I have been feeling disconnected from God for a while now.
Like the Psalmist, I don't hold anything back from the Lord. This disconnect makes me angry and sad. When I do pray, I often sound like a cranky teenager rowing with a parent.
Lord, you don't even know me!
If you're in my life, why don't I hear you anywhere? Friendships are a two-way street, and I'm doing ALL the calling here!
Have you forgotten about me?
Why are you talking to everyone else but me? UGH.
Hello? Fine, if you're going to be quiet, I'm leaving the chapel...
Books, friends, family, all have asked me the same thing: Do you read Scripture?
This is my sore spot. I lack trust that I am going to encounter God. I don't want to try and fail, again, feeling like the only fool who's never heard from the Lord while reading his book.
The Holy Spirit keeps pressing, but I have resisted for a long time. My fiance and I have fought about it over and over again (he doesn't like disparaging remarks about Holy Scripture, imagine that!). I've made snide comments and scoffed at people who love reading Scripture. Overall, I've been acting like a petulant baby.
A few weeks ago, while on the Engaged Encounter weekend, I volunteered to lector.
"The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword," I read, "penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account." (Hebrews 4:12)
My heart simultaneously plummeted and soared. Where was my docility to the Holy Spirit? Why have I been avoiding what God is calling me to do, what he is asking me to do, in order to draw closer to him? Why have I let bitterness fester for so long?
This Lent, I will read a chapter a day of the Gospel According to Luke. When I am finished, I will start again. I am dropping my defenses. I am shedding my pugnacious attitude towards God and saying yes to the Spirit instead.
If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.
Wishing you a blessed Lent and looking forwarding to reading your suggestions over at Bright Maidens.