Monday, March 1, 2010

Peter Denies Christ, John 18:17

I had been feeling out of sorts... anxious, and a little down. Normally I would have ignored these feelings and pushed them. Of course then they manifest themselves in ways I'd rather not. Sometimes I get overly cranky with my family, hard to believe, I know. Sometimes I have been drawn to grab a cookie or a feel-good treat. But instead of ignoring this feeling I prayed and opened to scripture. I was led to read John 18:17.

17 Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, "You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."

I sat for a minute and went. Huh. OK Lord, It is the season of lent, and this is apropos, but I would NEVER deny Christ. Even as child I would hear the passion being read out loud and I would be appalled that anyone could deny our Lord. I know all of us have felt this way.

So I called upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten me.

"Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love!"

Then slowly the message seeped into my brain, of what is left of it. I realize that God was trying to tell me that each time I allow anxiousness, depression, or any other negative, overwhelming thought take me away from Christ, I am denying Him. This is not to say that I should be punished for 'feeling' these things. I am human, I am supposed to feel these things. But rather than wallow in it, I can turn to Him who has the answer for everything. Then I can accept these feelings, know they will pass and offer them as a sacrifice for someone else.

"Life is only a dream: soon, we shall awaken. And what joy! The greater our sufferings, the more limitless our glory. Oh! do not let us waste the trial that Jesus sends."

~ St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church