I have asked the question of a few friends this week. How do we know these things and live? How do we bypass ignorance or selective knowledge for action and avoid depression? How do we battle the weariness of operating machines to wash our clothes and preparing the food that feeds our families without feeling like utter failures for the Kingdom? Because on this earth where our bathrooms beg our attention and we can't find the energy to give it and where we fuss irritable at kids who won't head to beds or stop kicking a soccer ball in the house, on this earth where we raise our hands in praise to a merciful Savior, little girls live in cages and are groped by perverse men and teenage girls are being trucked across the highways of our prosperity to a life of slavery and poverty sends people running ignorant into a life of exploitation. And we bear His name and so must bear His pain at it all. And yet we must live and love and serve these in our midst and not forget our first duties. And sometimes it makes my swim and my heart beat too fast.
And then I remember that all my strength for the battle lies not in me and my weak-kneed terror at the battle, but in Him and in His victory over it all. And I remember that if He can save me from me then somehow He is able to save them. And that I am not the Savior but the sick needing saving. And on the days when I am not incapacitated by my own sickness, He mercifully lets me play the role of servant, rising up like Peter's mother-in-law to serve those in my midst. And I remember that the medicine I need to stay strong, to suffer with the suffering without breaking, to embody at the same time death and resurrection, is there in Him -- in His Word written across the ages, in His presence waiting, hidden in the facade of sustenance we call bread, in the caresses of those who love me and of the encouragement of others who love in His name. And I run back to the heart of prayer where He waits to mend my brokenness and tells me that it's okay to admit that I'm the one who needs to be rescued and healed today. That He will give me what I need and strengthen me to rise again to serve. And it takes only moments -- silent moments -- to know the grace is enough. To feel the questions that threaten to paralyze fade away and the paralysis loosen its grip. And my heart slows to rhythm of mercy once again and my feet begin to keep pace with the Spirit once more. Over and over this is how I live. This is the breaking heart of the broken.
So today, I invite you to pause and remember with me that prayer is our first weapon. It keeps the warriors fighting and heals the wounded. It moves the heart of the only real Savior and reminds us of the victory. It meets in the tomb and transforms it into resurrection glory. So if you take no more action than this today -- or tomorrow or ever -- this is something. Something big. It is the way the saints suffer and break and yet still live.
So keep praying with me? Our collective prayer:
Or the missions rosary devotions I've been contributing over at Suscipio:
and today, for Oceania.
Because He has promised that wherever two or more gather in His name, He will be in their midst. And oh how I need Him in my midst.