Monday, October 12, 2009

Grace and Guidance

Unless you believe that your life is an accident, that somehow a series of chemical processes is wholly responsible for your existence, you may from time to time seek Divine guidance.

I was raised Catholic and for many years, lived by the dogma and man-made rules that I thought defined my religion. It was not what you would call a “living” faith; more like an unpleasant obligation to fulfill. I didn’t get much out of it, and as I looked around me I saw that no one else seemed to either.

Eventually, I felt driven to embark on my own spiritual quest. Through my participation in twelve step programs, meditation groups, and the study of other religions, I gradually attained an awareness of a spiritual life I knew I had been missing. I was enlightened by the teachings of Buddhism and other eastern traditions. I learned from the Pre–Christian Earth mother religions and Native American beliefs. My spiritual life was enriched and informed by the writings of Khalil Gibran, Eckhart Tolle and many others.

The result of this search was that it brought me full-circle, back to the beginning and my own faith of origin, but I began to discern that there was a vast difference between reciting prayers and responses by rote and simply showing up at Mass each week, and actually attempting to live the faith, which is what I believe we are called to do.

I began to perceive that my God was not an old man sitting up on a cloud somewhere, but was more like a wind, moving among us, surrounding us and blowing right through us here on Earth. My God works in miraculous ways, through human beings. My God is loving, forgiving and welcoming. My God is part of me, and speaks from within.

In past times of indecision or strife, I have found myself either in church, or in seclusion at home, searching through scriptures, pondering the New Testament and the psalms, looking for a sign post on my life’s journey…which way to go? Looking back over my life, I see now with aggravating clarity, the forks in the road where I chose poorly. Hind-sight is twenty-twenty, as they say. Those were times when I depended on my own weak sensibilities and flawed judgment to make my decisions. I have come to realize, however, that there have been a handful of times, when I was so distraught and depleted that I asked for Divine intervention. In effect, I asked God to show me what the right decision was, or simply to make something happen with the caveat: “Your will, not mine be done.” When I look back now on the results of those times of “letting go and letting God,” I see with mild astonishment how right the path I chose eventually turned out to be. This is one way that I have come to experience Grace.


  1. How St. Francis Made Brother Masseo Twirl Around:

    "Which road shall we take, Father," asked Masseo.

    "That which God wills, my son," answered the saint.

    "And how can we tell which He wills?" inquired Masseo.

    "He has given me a sign," replied Francis, "and it is this: I command you,—and see that you break not your vow of obedience,—I command you, in the road where you now stand, to turn round and round as the children do, until I tell you to stop."

    So poor Masseo twirled and twirled, till he fell down from giddiness. Then he got up and looked beseechingly at the saint; but the saint said nothing, and Masseo, remembering his vow of obedience began again to twirl his best. He continued to twirl and to fall for some time, till he seemed to have spent all his life in twirling, when, at last, he heard the welcome words:

    "Stop, and tell me whither your face is turned."

    "To Siena," gasped Masseo, who felt the earth rock round him.

    "Then to Siena we must go," said Francis, and to Siena they went.

  2. Beautifully written post Deedee. Thank you for sharing your heart. I loved it!
    I too have learned to say, Thy will, not mine.

  3. Hi DeeDee! Your post reminds me so much of a journaling exercise I had my classes do - first write a description of the God of your childhood, and what you believed. Then flip to now, write down how you perceive God NOW. It was always so fascinating. And you did it! What a rich experience, isn't it? Thanks for sharing this - you are awesome!

  4. "...looking for a sign post on my life’s journey…which way to go?"

    I like the promise of the New Testament: "Seek and ye shall find..."

    Letting go and letting God is a prescription for a life filled with meaning and value. It will include challenge, fun, excitement, heartbreak and joy.

    A full life indeed. Seekers find.

    Aren't you glad? (Me too!)

  5. I've learned through all the stops and starts of my spiritual path, that life and seekiing are one and the same, for me, anyway. I always rebeled, from the earliest age, but God has provided many paths for my yearning, and even a fork in the road is a good lesson. I try to bypass gloom..I'm serious about eradicating my aggression, my foolish ego. Absolute truth? That's us. We are the truth..we are facets of God..all souls are good.
    Thank you for this terrific piece..I needed it!