As a Catholic twenty-something, I realize that a phenomenon that I experienced today was spiritual warfare, too. (I’m sure non-Catholic twenty-something experience just as much, but are unaware of it.) Satan really tried to get me down. For instance, after teaching Confirmation, I thought about how I felt like a fool and like I was doing a horrible job, though I knew those were irrational fears in my head.
When it comes down to it, Satan wants to discourage me from having joy, peace, and love. He wants me to forget Whose I am and who I am, so that I can no longer be filled with God’s joy, peace, and love… nor pass on that joy, peace, and love to others!
Satan and his demons want people to be unhappy with themselves, others, and God. In that order, a lot of times. We focus on ourselves, others, and then God, and things just start to come apart.
God, on the other hand, is Love Himself. He calls us to receive His love, give His love, and– most of all– abide in His Love! We are to love Him, our neighbor, and ourselves. And it is in that order that contentment lies– that Love naturally begets love.
Sitting before the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the day, in a somewhat dejected mode where I was telling God all about the details of my day, I suddenly stopped. The order of my thinking had reversed. It had become Satan’s order, but I knew that I was called to think alternately: God, others, me. I had to think of Him first: He Who was right before my very eyes at that moment in the form of bread! He Who I was with!
I looked intently at Him, in the form of bread, and suddenly, it was as if the Holy Spirit brought back into me that joy, that peace, that love. For I realized… It is not about my day, but about how my day is His day! It is not about what happens in my life, how I glorify Him, or what I can give to Him…
It was all about Who I was with in my life, and how I could simply see Him before my very eyes right then and there. in His True Presence. Moreover, I realized that throughout the day, at every moment outside of Adoration, I needed to see Him in others, and to love them. And I needed to see Him in myself. And to love myself. Like St. Therese said, the task to simply LOVE is my vocation– to simply love Him!
I thought about the story of Martha and Mary in Holy Scripture. A lot of times, I think that Catholic twenty-somethings feel like they need to be like Martha, always doing, doing, doing things for God. But God calls us to be like Mary in our heart, at all moments. Mentally, in every moment, we are to sit as His feet, look up to Him, receive Him, and just get lost in His immense Love! Throughout the various tasks of the day, we must keep Him, gazing at us lovingly, in our vision. It is He Who I am with.
God is the reason we do all of the things that we do. It is easy to forget this when we are going about our busy days and even when we are in His Presence at Adoration or when we receive Him at Mass. Yet He simply wants us to abide in His Love. Every second of His every day that he has given to us. That is our main purpose in this life.
In the Adoration chapel at the end of a long day, God Himself was there with me, pouring out His love into and all over me. What more did I truly need that day (and night)? No, not my works (which were actually just His works through my hands). And no, no one else– not my boyfriend, family, friends, beloved students. Just Him. Just Jesus. Just Love Himself. That is Who was gazing at me with love: Love Himself. That is Who I was with.
I need to always remember Who I am with! Who I belong to, the reason for my song… Who is at the core of my heart all the day long!
The demons better be afraid! Because this Love has definitely got a hold on my heart.