I am filled with love
As a great tree with the wind,
As a sponge with the ocean,
As a great life with suffering,
As time with death.
Oh, the feels. I remember once saying to a priest who wanted me to tell him “what was wrong” how exhausted love had made me. I could feel the need for love emanating from every one of my acquaintances, even strangers, and it had drawn every bit of strength I possessed. He told me to be courageous, and I didn’t really understand how that applied to my situation, but he insisted: “Make little acts of courage, even if it’s just smiling at someone or being unnecessarily kind. And pray for courage at every moment.”
Last night I walked into St. Vincent Ferrer with a mighty case of the feels–over a disappointing set of circumstances that left me frustrated and confused. And once again I brought to God my long-standing complaint: why am I so sensitive, why can’t I just brush things off, why do I feel things so quickly and so much?
The reply, which came loudly, quickly, out of the blue, said, “Who gave you your heart? I made your heart this way! And I have already promised that I will fill it; it will overflow with love.” You, Lord, protected me from my youth, nurtured me in a family that was very loving despite all its flaws, protected me from impurity even in my ignorance. And the times when I have failed you, when I have worshiped idols, you have dragged me, often kicking and screaming, back to the font of your endless mercy.
I can’t use my faith to cushion harsh blows; I can’t lie to myself and say that I feel no pain. And yet last night I was given a glimpse of something I have been promised all along, someone who waits for me. In this long, very cold winter, Jesus still comes, the Lord is coming, the Lord of hearts and wise men and fools. You’ve made me a tinderbox, your very own, and to what heights you will allow the flames to reach I have yet to see.