Thursday, April 01, 2010

Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears

I've recently experienced a number of disappointing occurrences. Anyone in the middle of a job hunt will be able to say the same thing. For us melancholic personalities, though, that means a tendency to "mourn and weep," and towards self-recrimination. Or, even worse, blame others.

It struck me while praying the morning office, however, that the greater sadness in my life is not these temporal (and fleeting) disappointments, but rather my sinfulness, which is "always before me" (Ps. 51). That fact that I am more likely to "mourn and weep" or get angry over temporal disappointments rather than my sinfulness indicates a need for conversion of heart.

The psalmist cries for the vine grower to revisit the vine He has planted and set things aright:
Awake your power and come to us.
Come to us and save us. (Ps. 80, text courtesy Universalis)
The Lord, however, reminds Israel that it is their infidelity that leads to their true misery:
But my people did not hear my voice:
Israel did not turn to me.
So I let them go on in the hardness of their hearts,
and follow their own counsels.

If my people had heard me,
if only they had walked in my ways –
I would swiftly have crushed their enemies,
stretched my hand over those who persecuted them. (Ps. 81)
This is also a salutary admonition for those of us who are concerned about the chastisement the Church is experiencing right now (again). The lesson, really, is to repent of our own sins and embrace fidelity in all its meanings, especially in relation to human sexuality, marriage, and family, a point that many people are making right now.

Let's not focus on the unfair media attach; let's focus on our own deep infidelity and need for substantial conversion. Let us mourn and weep for our own sins, which make the sufferings of Christ in His body, the Church, even more grievous.

How deep are we willing to go? How much are we willing to let the light shine in our darkness to dispel it?


Joe said...

This is an excellent meditation. Thanks for writing this.

Maclin said...

This really jibes with some things I've been experiencing lately, too, though without the external stress of the job situation. I really sympathize with you on that--I'm not sure I could handle it but I suppose I would if I had to.

Janet said...

Great post, Robert.

Robert Gotcher said...

I would say, "It keeps you humble," except in my case, it doesn't.