An Oasis ...
in the Desert of Our Dreams
In calling the soul, luring the bride,
into the desert, the the Holy Ghost calls her not only to spiritual
warfare, to contention with evil, and to endurance in its struggling
through barrenness and emptiness. He does not call us to an implacable
foe in a relentless battle and leave us in that place to which He
called us – upon our resources only. He knows they are insufficient,
that our strength is lacking and that, unreplenished, we will falter
and fail. The expanse is great, the heat of conflict is as withering
as the chill of starless nights. Our strength fails.
He knows this
And so, in that vast expanse that knows no shadow from the sun,
no light from a star, He creates an Oasis as well; we drink of it
in the waters of that deep Consolation from God when our journey
brings us to our knees, when, hemmed in on all sides, we fall to
the ground, poured out and parched in our emptiness, onto a blistering
sand from which we have no strength to rise. There, from that desolation,
we look up ... and we see it. We find the Oasis hidden from the
world which will replenish our souls, giving us solace in our suffering.
It is a measureless cistern beyond all depths ... that is filled
with grace and the promise of renewal. It is the Manna of the Desert,
Jesus Christ Himself Who comes to us ... when we have nothing left.
Slaking our thirst and binding our wounds, He picks us up, lays
us beside still waters — living waters where the palm tree flourishes
and the reeds grow tall — and breathing upon us as cool wind from
the West, restores what we have lost and gives us in greater abundance
It may come as a sense of God's abiding presence, it may be a renewed
experience of the Motherhood of Mary ... nothing confines it — it
is an Oasis around whose margin is the utter vastness of possibility,
for we cannot constrain God. He will come to us as He wills. Desert
and Oasis, both are His, traced in the shifting sand of our being.
Know that in His great wisdom and love, He will give us what is
best for us. He sustains us with His very Body and Blood that we
may be strengthened to journey farther still — beyond the Oasis.
We cannot remain ...
We cannot cling to, nor can we long remain within this Oasis
of His Consolation to which He brings us. It is respite from our
journey, but it is not our journey's end. We are pilgrims and not
nomads who know no end, and must move on. Where? To that place to
which we are called by God — but only He knows it by name and only
He knows the way. This demands great trust of us.
Whether you are offered a handful of burning sand or a bowl of water
from the Father, accept his gift, for he knows what you need ...
Do not be a stranger to song. As you trudge through the wilderness,
through dry and empty places, even upon stones that lacerate your
feet, let your heart sing unto your God, for song puts evil spirits
to flight: however much they abound in our deserts they cannot bear
song, for all music, all song is a composition of love, of order,
harmony, form; it has a beginning and an end, a reprise and a rescension.
It can even be harmonized, and a harmony joined to a Choir of Angels
who never leave our sides – or the face of your Father in Heaven
– is a beauty from which the ugliness of all evil recoils and flees!
Reflect on the Oases that you have known in your life, those occasions
where God brought you through trial and pain to His living waters,
to renew you in His love, to confirm you on your journey.
Give him thanks, and trust that the trial that you are at present
suffering and enduring, sooner or later will lead to the Oasis of
his love. And beyond it. To a distant land beyond all sorrow.
Boston Catholic Journal
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