Thursday, August 23, 2012

we can only wonder

There she is.


As we sang Hail, Holy Queen, I looked up at that Coronation of Mary painting, and thought back to when I sang that hymn at an early morning mass two and half years ago. During which, I started grinning like the Cheshire Cat when I finally made my college decision as we sang.

I remember looking up at that beautiful mural as week three of Vision rolled around. I was nervous, tense, and unsure. I wasn't ready at all for that week. I had no idea what was ahead of me, and whatever was ahead of me I was 94.2% sure I couldn't handle it.
And then I looked up, and I thought:
How foolish. How foolish am I to doubt that absolutely all I need will be provided. 
Here is a simple little Jewish woman being crowned the queen of heaven and earth right in front of me. 
Good grief.
Now that's just stupid miraculous.

When someone says: "God will provide," automatically I envision some sort of deity who serves as a universal rations distributor. Each person gets just as much as they need, and it's probably going to be just enough to sneak by on, and it's radically uncomfortable, but hey, life is pain, highness, so just tighten your belt and carry on.

But that's just absolutely not how it works at all. As C.S. Lewis says: "Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are far too easily pleased." We are too easily satisfied with replacements, substitutes for God. We are too easily satisfied with just a little--just a little bit of a miracle, just enough grace, just a decent amount of love. How ridiculous. How utterly absurd. We are being offered a place in the life and love of the Trinity and we are content with remaining underwhelmingly decent and comfortably mediocre.

There's an oft-told story of St. Thérèse which, to be candid, I never understood. It's taken me some time, but I was recently impressed by its beauty. Thérèse gets it. This girl knows wassup.

As a small child she and her sister, Celine, were offered a basket of toys and attractive things and were asked to choose whatever they wanted. After Celine had chosen a ball of wool, Thérèse was given the opportunity to choose. After a moment’s reflection, she writes: 
“I stretched out mine saying: ‘I choose all.’”

I choose all.
No one could accuse Thérèse of having a desire too weak.


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