Monday, February 16, 2009

Confessions: #2

Man possesses an infinite soul; he transcends tragedy. Heaven help me, I know better than most the addicting satisfaction of a tragic mindset--the previous school year was immeasurably difficult for me for this very reason. I have always had a keen awareness of my intellectual gifts, and the distance between me and my peers that it caused. Yet I did not give glory to God for giving me this unique mode of worshiping him, but rather resigned myself to his service. I felt like the servant given ten talents during the master's absence; I was duty-bound to increase those talents until my King returned, yet never able to live up to His expectations. I did not "consider all things joy," but rather considered life to be a responsibility.

I cannot begin to describe how aesthetically satisfying this self-perception was, to consider myself a "tragic hero," a victim of the noble sacrifice.

Nor can I begin to describe how numbing and utterly soul-sucking this self-perception proved to be. My soul was weather-beaten, atrophied, consumed from within as though by disease. It produced both pride and self-loathing, excruciating despair and total apathy. I rarely (if ever) showed this side of my life to my friends or mentors--I wish I had not been so convincing an actor in this regard. But even had I wished it, I'm not sure I could have expressed my sickness. It was an ineffable sin, an inarticulable cancer of the spirit.

If there was any single cause for my spiritual rejuvenation, it was the decision to cast off this misconceived vision of my life. I still believe that it is the most deadly heresy into which we may fall. I should sooner curse the God who loves me and the Son who gave up His life, than fall back into that pit of tragic apathy. "I wish you were either cold or hot. But because you are lukewarm... I will spit you out of My mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16).
In the sphere of Venus I learned war;
In the sphere of Saturn, my heart leapt for Joy.
While bathed in light I accepted your mystery;
when wreathed in shadow my heart discerned God.
God, by your Word, grant me peace in your Name.
My heart is a King's, yet my soul is complacent.
Grant me, God willing, respite from this numbness.
Lord, judge me! Savior, forgive this lukewarm spirit!
Give me the freedom to care and to cry.

God, forgive my complacency. I know Your lovingkindness, that You have borne the weight of sin and defeated the power of death. I am witness to Your suffering, in bearing the weight of tragedy and the curse of the Law. From the instant of Creation You have endured the entirety of suffering that we might not be crushed, for You are the only One who could bear such things. Your hands are scarred; let me touch them! My soul is numbed to the potency of Your love. Console me, reignite my passion to live, place in me a pure heart, to delight and to feel.

Oh! God, my heart is searching Yours; grant me my prayer! Teach me to cry out to You!

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