Assisi, March 30, 2015. On the hillside in the olive grove above Santa Chiara.
O Dio, tu sei il mio Dio, all’aurora ti cerco, di te ha sete l’anima mia.
Here I am, God. And here, I know, are you.
Forgive me for my doubt, my fear, my hesitancy.
But what if you do not come through?
You have never abandoned me: never, not in moments of joy,
nor in moments of despair and darkness.
Always you follow me. Always you interrupt my self-satisfaction, my misery.
I could not make you up: yet the world says this is so.
We are all running from you, we are terrified of remembrance.
We do not want to be responsible, to regret, to hang our heads
in shame or guilt. We have to recover from
“the sickness of seeking you.”
How did it come to this?
When we think of you, we feel infinitely wounded.
We grapple with you, wrestle with you, and your hands batter us still more.
“No more God. He is hurting me in the deepest places,
and that is unfair. I have a right to live a life free of pain.”
When I am hungry, I will eat, so that my stomach does not hurt.
When I am thirsty, I will drink, so that my throat is not parched.
When I am tired, I will sleep, so that my body is not weary.
And when I am alone
when I am alone
That is; when my soul is so
thirsty, so hungry, so tired,
I will cry out to You.
I will remember you who have never forgotten me.
Even if only for a moment
(you are the fullness of every moment)-
I will think of you, and I will remember that I am made to drink of you,
to eat of you, to rest in you.
In that moment, I will be aware of creation as a glorious “being with.”
The continual agony of self-actualization will
fall away because, in that one moment, I am alive in you,
and my soul knows who she is meant to adore.
I will see the stance of life: everything strains upward to you, everything loves itself
because everything belongs to you.
The olive tree, ancient and elegant, stands alive year after year;
the grass sprawling on the hills around it, so tender and green, so sure of itself and its
mission to receive life without ceasing.
The human heart that tries again and again to love and be loved;
the heart always yearning to ascend.
Everything wants to be what it is, which is a live creation; everything wants the fullness of everything:
to be with you.
And then the moment will pass, and I will try to forget you (this takes more effort than remembering, but I tell myself otherwise), and to do that I jostle myself out of silence, recollection, receptivity, and adoration, and back into a state of agitation and noise.
Whenever I remember you,
I start to crave you;
and I sense the uncontrollability that comes with intimacy and belief.
The piercing way You touch me…
I am forced to encounter a choice. Either I relinquish the god I have made out of control,
distraction, and anger (a god I can predict and manipulate, according to my whims and whatever company I find myself in), and thereby open myself like the rest of creation to you, the God I came from and the God I run from:
or, I can say,
“No. No, it is too risky.”
March 31, 2015. Tomb of St. Francis.
Intimacy requires a sober decision to relinquish control.