Has the temple of your physical youth gotten a little tired and gray? Has the ship of your dreams crashed on the rocky shore of rejection and failure? Has sin revealed an all too imperfect discipleship in holiness? Have family members disappointed you, and close friends revealed themselves as Judas? Is life not as joyous as it used to be?
"Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, And take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work!" Haggai 2:1-9
The dark pit of dashed dreams, of soiled reputation, of addiction, of the loss of our youth, and the loss of our joy in the realization that we are sinners, is a call from the Lord of Mercy to new life in courageous, transformative grace. Yet, it will take a lot of work! For old habits die hard. And old attitudes formed through poor catechesis, societal misinformation, and disordered passions, are the spiritual battlefield which calls for us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. As the old saying goes, 'Pray like it all depends on God, and work like all depends on you.'
God will provide the grace for both.
"For you, O God, are my strength. Why do you keep me so far away? Why must I go about in mourning, with the enemy oppressing me? Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place." Psalm 43:1-4
When Jesus hung on the Cross, near death, he cried, 'Eli, Eli, Llama Sabachthani,' which means 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' The Risen Jesus, and our salvation through both His Resurrection and Passion, attest to the fact that God never forsakes us. For He 'is Love.' The real forsaking is ours in sin. For God is the Prodigal Father with arms always extended in Love toward His children. We, however, are spoiled children, turning our back on him for silly, petty reasons. So, the dark pit is a little bit of our own choosing, and a little bit of pure unadulterated bad luck--both allowed by God so that He can work a greater good through them.
And that greater good? Our hunger for His Loving, Merciful Light!
"He said, 'The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.'” Luke 9:18-22
From the Cross, Jesus foresaw our dark pit. From Gethsemane He suffered a vision of what put us there. From His Mercy, and the Blood He shed for us, He gave, through His Apostles, the Sacrament of Reconciliation to forgive and heal us, and the Eucharist, where Jesus enters us, changes us for the better, and elevates us, with Him, in the Perfect Offering to the Father. So, in that dark pit, let the Spirit within cry for repentance, and look up for the Light!
For God will not forsake you.