Holiness/Piety: Being in Love with God. Pure and simple.
It seems there are several substitutes for the real thing. I’m trying to get to the real thing (and no it’s not Coke). The kind of love relationship where you are happy or joyful just sitting with someone. I’m trying not to be led astray in this.
I don’t want to be in love with the Idea of religion, or the Idea of holiness, or the Idea of God. I’m not interested in sitting in church every chance I get pondering the idea of being holy. I’m not interested in saying prayers perfectly so that I can appear holy.
The way I might get distracted from the real thing is trying to do the right things without putting my heart into it. But this mechanical, routine method seems, in the end, to be quite hollow. I don’t want to go to mass or benediction just because it looks like the right and proper thing to do. I don’t want to go through the motions out of fear that if I don’t I’ll burn in hell.
And, I know I’m following a misguided path when I put on the trappings, do the right things but then turn around and disrespect those around me. I’m not holy when I judge others for the clothes they wear or the way they act or in any way put myself above them as judge or jury.
I’m looking for the REAL THING. I’m looking to meet God and form a relationship with her (or him – however you have to visualize God.) I desire to hear Her voice. It scares me often when I think about it, because I’m not so good at giving of my deepest self. It seems that to meet God and fall in love is going to require a lot of letting go of self, and that’s a really hard thing for me to do.
Writing for this blog seems to help. It forces me to put some form to my random thoughts. In a way it is a sort of incarnation: a way of putting flesh and bones on something, someone who is so awesome that my mind and my heart can’t handle it. Writing helps me to look beyond.
I had a friend who was deeply into contemplative prayer. When he was helping me to learn contemplation, he told me to think about how it felt to be with someone you love. He reflected on how just sitting next to that person, no words needed could be so comforting. Just sit and be with God.
It’s been a long time since I’ve talked with Dave, but I will be eternally grateful for his reflection on contemplation. I think I’ll take some time to sit with the Lord and just Be.