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Who Am I Trying to Please?

I just spent the last 4 days with a phenomenal group of people at a Cursillo de Cursillo retreat that was held in Montgomery Alabama at St Bede’s Catholic Church.

Everything throughout the days–the prayer and meditations (thanks, Deacon Mark!), the talks presented on the Cursillo charism and methodology, table discussions, the food!, the conversations at mealtimes, the singing (This Little Light of Mine!), the friendships and sharing, to the the Masses celebrated (big thanks and shout out to Fr Nicholas! Will be praying for you and your Youth next weekend!)–were enriching and meaningful and it was evident that the transformative power of the Holy Spirit was present in our midst. I am grateful for having had the privilege to journey with so many wonderful and beautiful individuals.

And yet, even in the midst of this, I still found myself periodically fighting irritability and struggling to stay present to the people I was surrounded by.

Why? Well, at first, I thought it was probably because I am introvert and absolutely NEED “down time”–that ability to be alone and recharge. For me, I usually do most of my “re-fueling” during my morning prayer and meditation with my Lord, but due to the last few days’ schedule, I was hard pressed to spend as much time as I wanted to in the morning before needing to be present and engaged in work in the vineyard.

Needless to say, I was a bit irritated with our Lord about this situation, and I shared my displeasure with Him on Friday and Saturday. One thing about my Lord though, He is always faithful, so sure enough, He sent me a reply this morning–via one of my meditation books. In it, St Teresa of Avila shared:

The dissatisfaction we often feel when we have passed a great part of the day without being retired and absorbed in God, though we have been employed in works of obedience or charity, proceeds from a very subtle self-love, which disguises and hides it self. For it is a wish on our part to please ourselves rather than God.

Ouch.

After reading and then spending time reflecting on it, I related to my Lord that, once again, I was being an unworthy and ungrateful servant who didn’t deserve the blessings He was showering upon me; and that I was sorry again for failing to see how He sees, and again for being more concerned about my own comfort than for doing His work, and for again being more concerned about my way of being and living than His Way of being and living. But the real kicker was the realization that for all of my talk of living and doing and choosing to try and grow in holiness, in this instance, I was definitely trying to please myself, and not God.

As I sat in silence after sharing this with Jesus, I heard very clearly, “Christina, I know you and love you. Trust me. Don’t you think I know what you truly need to do my work in the vineyard and be my witness in the world? But take heart for ‘My grace is sufficient for thee, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’

I sat with our Lord’s words to me for a bit, and then made my resolution for today which was to take the words of St Paul and make them my own as I intentionally paused several times to offer thanksgiving and say, “Gladly therefore I will glory in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

So now my question to you: Who are you trying to please?

As you sit and reflect, be mindful of what a wondrous God we have. The One who created you loves you beyond measure and is waiting for you. Say Yes.

**Thanks again to all who shared the journey with me in person at the CDC the last few days. Please know of my prayers for each of you, and hope to see all of my companions here on the Way tomorrow as I will share why I am blogging and what you can expect of my blog in the future.