Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
In my journey to become a holistic person, I have naturally uncovered those things that are preventing me from being truly authentic, those inconsistencies and conflicting desires. I am very aware of the majority of my intentions whenever I act, all the good and all the bad.
In doing good things, I know that I *mostly* do those good things (like help an old lady cross the street, etc.) because I know that’s the right thing to do. But there still is that smallest part of me, that I am very aware of, that hopes someone is watching and sees that I’m a good person. My intentions are mixed. But does that mean I shouldn’t do any good act that isn’t completely pure?
I’ve thought about this also in references to liturgy, to acts of reverence during the Mass and prayer. For many people, their actions spring from an overflowing of their heart. Kneeling, making the sign of the cross, bowing, or that intense reflective state a lot of girls go into right after they receive communion—all these, when coming from a place of true devotion, are beautiful.
But when it came to me, I felt hypocritical and fake if I tried anything more than the generally accepted hand motions of prayer. It was simply an act, something to show that I was religious.
I wasn’t captivated. I wasn’t convinced. Most importantly, I wasn’t in love.
And I’m not going to look back to where I’ve been and be ashamed of what I wasn’t, and I’m not going to look at my present life with anything other than complete honesty. But now I know that I can still act without the burning passion of a zealot.
I do not glory in lukewarmness or my duality of intentions, but I do address them for what they are. Some days I don’t care. Some days I can’t convince myself that I believe. Some days it borders on show and devotion. But the truth is still the truth, regardless of my emotion or conviction in it.
And so, I am fully aware of this need in me for purification, for a redirection and complete focus of my will. But I’m human, completely and fully. I can do my best, but I will also fall. I also cannot control the way I feel. I can’t act on desires that aren’t present.
But I can act in the hope of purification. I can continue to move forward in trust, that despite me and my disordered desires, God can and will work miracles.
I’ve been reading The Dark Night of Soul by St. John of the Cross, and I am in awe that anyone would be able to, or want to, go through that while here on earth. But I also know that if I truly desire heaven, I will have to go through something like that in Purgatory. I know I cannot purify my heart on my own. Everything that is not good and holy has to be burned away, whether right now as I live or right after death.
So continue to offer your heart but with the fullest understanding that it stills needs to be purified. Pray for an increase of desire. Be honest with yourself and do not be ashamed of where you are on your journey.
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Thanks for reminding me [us] that we need to always start again – begin anew, in our interior struggle – nunc coepi!
Rectitude of intentions is indispensable in our daily struggle – because we aren’t saints yet!!