“Make yourself get up, sick as you are, and try to let your desire touch the kind and generous God”

Here’s what you should do. Go down deep in your mind as far as you can go to its lowest level that some by experience call it’s “highest” point and think in the simplest (some call it the “wisest”) way and realize—not what you are but that you are.

For you to comprehend what you are in all of your complex humanity requires much scholarship, intelligence, and introspection, for the most challenging research is self-examination. With the help of grace, you’ve already done this for a while now, learning enough partial knowledge of what you are—by nature, human; by sin, a miserable corrupt wretch. You know what I mean. You know all too well the immoral behavior that follows and belongs to those who stray. Shame on them! I ask you to do this: Let them go their way. Don’t obsess over them, for fear of being ruined yourself. Instead, remember your inherent talent for understanding that you are. Thinking that you exist doesn’t require learning or brilliance, but a simple willlingness to be taught.

I ask you now—forget everything. Think only that you are as you are, however ugly and sinful you feel. I’m assuming you’ve already confessed your sins, general and specific, and have been properly forgiven, as the Holy Church teaches. Without it, I would never recommend or approve that you or anyone else dare begin this work. But if you feel that you’ve done your best to be forgiven, then go ahead and start.

If, however, you still feel awful, burdened by your weaknesses, and if you’re not sure what to do with yourself, I can suggest something that might help you. Take God at face value, as he is. Accept his good graciousness, as you would a plain, simple, soft compress when sick. Take hold of him and press him against your unhealthy self, just as you are. Or try this. Make yourself get up, sick as you are, and try to let your desire touch the kind and generous God, just as he is, because those who touch him know good health that never ends. Remember the woman in the gospel story. The experience happened to her, and she testified about it: “If I only touch the hem of his cloak I will be made well.”

By touching the hem of God’s cloak, she was healed physically,  but you’ll be healed infinitely more because your soul will be made whole in the uplifting work of contemplation as you spiritually touch God’s own being, his own loving self. Step up and be bold. Taste that medicine. Lift up your frail self, as you are, and give everything to God and his compassion, as he is. Stop analyzing yourself or God. You can do without wasting so much of your energy deciding if something is good or bad, grace given or temperament driven, divine or human. The only important thing is your simple awareness of your naked being and joyfully offering that to God with a willingness to love. It will connect you to God in Spirit and unite you with him in grace. You’ll find yourself bonding with the amazing being of God, simple as he is, nothing more.

Book of Privy Counsel

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