It’s been a hard past couple of months. Probably the hardest I’ve had to go through. Ever.
I was not at my best (it would seem, day after day after day). I’ve felt hopelessness, I’ve felt like there was no good in me. I came face to face with whatever hidden darkness I’ve tried to conceal for years, from others as well as myself, and repeatedly I’ve had to look away in disgust. I tried to believe that this was a period of purification, of pruning, of dying to oneself.
Oh, it definitely felt like dying. A slow, agonizing, painful death.
Some days, I suppose, are better than others. The past week, somehow, I’ve felt there was the first glimmer of hope in the darkness that has been covering me for months. I felt I was being given the chance to be good again, to be better than the sin that lives in me.
And then a day like today comes when I lose it again. I get angry, I feel resentful, I lose control.
Man, why is it so hard to remember that it’s not about me? Why do I always have to feel I’ve been cheated (I’m really not), and that everyone’s out to hurt me (they really aren’t)? Is this battle not yet over?
Am I losing? Or have I already lost?
A few Sundays ago, right before Consecration, the priest (Fr. Roderick Salazar, Jr., S.V.D.) pointed out a word that had previously been missing from the Eucharistic Prayer, but has since been included in the Epiclesis with the new translation. The priest, with hands extended over the offerings of bread and wine, prays for the Lord to “Make holy these gifts…by sending down Your Spirit upon them like the dewfall.” Formerly, we simply prayed for the Lord to “Let [His] Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy,” but now we explicitly define how we would like the Spirit to come: not like a rainstorm, not like an avalanche, but like the dewfall.
And this is what I need to believe.
That because I have asked for help, because I have turned to the Lord in my need, He will come and save me. That even in the face of setbacks like today, where I failed to love yet again, that I still loved a little better than yesterday, that I fought a little more, that I tried a little harder.
That even if I can’t see it, and sometimes I cannot feel it, the Spirit is working in me.
The next morning, there was a layer of dew all round the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was something fine and granular, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. As soon as the Israelites saw this, they said to one another, ‘What is that?’ not knowing what it was. ‘That,’ Moses told them, ‘is the food which Yahweh has given you to eat.’ (Exodus 16:13b-15)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of Your love. (Even if it be a tiny spark.) Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created (even if they do not yet know it). And You shall renew the face of the earth.