Monday, May 29, 2006

A little slice of love

Disclaimer: a lot of these thoughts are private & personal, I only put some of them here because they are background of a story I think I'd like to give witness to. You have been warned.

These past few weeks in the Easter season, I felt such dry-ness that was never before so apparent. Each day was as bad as the one before: my grandmother came to visit the whole of last week; I still went for masses & confessions. But only part of me seemed to live. Fast forward to Monday (today): another long day of bug-fixing, constantly interrupted with mundane requests to perform yet more fixes that should not come to me because I'm running a tight schedule on another product. It was 21:45, time to go home; I had lost my temper a few times that day and productivity was going down. Another day of half-consciously-lived life.

On the way home I thought, how on earth did this happen? How did I suddenly find myself unable to see, feel, taste, hear or touch the love of God? How was it possible that I can not feel much compassion for pretty much anything? How much longer must You hide Your face? I found myself asking. How much longer must I walk in this shadow? I was afraid my faith would wither and die due to lack of light. (I confess I have said more things more embarrassing than those!)

When I received in my inbox today's commentary of the daily Gospel reading, I was astounded to read this:

“That you may find peace in me”

“Lord, since the days of my youth my mind has sought an I-don’t-know-what with impatient thirst. So what was it, Lord? I still haven’t understood it entirely. It is many years now that I have ardently desired it, and I have not yet been able to grasp it… And yet that is what draws my heart and my soul and without which I cannot settle down in true peace.

Lord, I wanted to find happiness in the creatures of this world, as I saw so many people doing all around me. But the more I sought, the less I found; the closer I got, the further away I was. For everything told me: “I am not what you are seeking.” So is it you, Lord, whom I have sought for so long? Has the attraction of my heart always and constantly been struggling to reach you? Then why did you not show yourself to me? How could you put off this meeting for so long? On how many exhausting paths have I got bogged down? For the person whom you anticipate with so much love, is truly happy, the person whom you do not let rest until he seeks his rest in you alone.
—Blessed Henry Suso (around 1295 – 1366), Dominican
The Book of Eternal Wisdom

Is this walk in the shadow a part of His answer as well? Blessed Henry Suso certainly believed so!

As I arrived home, too tired and preoccupied to prepare dinner, I saw a little box of lapis surabaya (three-layered sponge cake: yellow, brown and yellow) that my mom gave to my grandma to pass to me. Although I don't have a sweet tooth, I recall with some sadness that I would normally refuse to carry lots of food my mom prepared for me whenever I am leaving home. Today this little slice of my mom's love tasted so smooth and sweet, as if it was God's own gracious answer to my plea: indeed, I had a taste of the love of God tonight. Deo gratias!

10 comments:

J.T. said...

Hi Antonia,

Many of us have faced the same the situation you have described. We feel distant from God, we feel unloved, we feel desolation. The question is whether we survive such ordeals and become stronger in our faith or losing it.

Pax Christi,
J.T.

p.s.: if you feel the need to give away the rest of your kueh lapis, you know where to contact me :)

Antonia said...

I guess you're right. The more I read, the more I realize so many people are in similar situation. Is it possible, though, to be in the shadow for the rest of our lives? I hope not.

About the food: are you sure? :) I have a lot of food sitting in the freezer. Usually they'll run out about the same time the next consignment arrives!

J.T. said...

I am into Ignatian spirituality. I find God in all things - including food! yumms :)

Bravo said...

Hi Antonia,

Seem like a challenging and interrupting day (plus the Monday blues) for you too huh?… I guess I have partly came along these lines before… and at the end of the day my senior engineer will ask “So how can you improve on this?”… “Do you have a way or system to reduce/eliminate these routine stuff?” I guess we have to up our level of thinking to better the situation… wish I had an answer ;)

Antonia, don’t be too hard on yourself ok. The good thing is that you are aware of God. And I admire you striving to be “I in Him and He in me”. And like what J.T. said becoming a faithful and better servant of God after each ordeal. Press on… and onward!

Happy that you see God’s love and Him wanting to belong to you in the simple things that is right under your nose( your mum’s lapis cake) and gave meaning to life and your journey.

To cheer you on & recharge your batteries... I’ll leave you with a link to this song call LIFE, sung by a Japanese teen… sound nice and interesting. Or you can find the song & lyrics at my short write-up at I can change my life...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx3R5Z3yEi8

Cheers,
Bravo

I love lapis cake also! Yummy… maybe can da pao more when you come back ;)

Actus Essendi said...

Hello everyone!

One thing that works for me to overcome spiritual/professional dryness, Monday blues, etc is to think about others; my family, my friends, colleagues, etc. Simply by asking others "How was your day today?" or "How was your weekend?" normally does the trick :)

As I'm the real 'arek Suroboyo', I think I have the right to a slice of the kue lapis :P

Antonia said...

To all who have requested the lapis, ask and you shall receive :) I can give some to Imelda this Saturday. JT, if you're working this Saturday, I'll be in the area. Albert, I have much more food to pass to you... any specific orders?

Actus Essendi said...

Gee, I think I like this blogging business a lot more now; post a comment and get yummy lapis in return!

Rina, don't forget my housemates yah :D

J.T. said...

Antonia,

Thank you for your generous offer. But I won't be working this Saturday. :)

Antonia said...

AE, sure ;)
JT, another time!

Bravo said...

Antonia, thanks for the generous offer... what can you recommand?

Love to try some yummy food from Indo and love to catchup with you too. Maybe will meet up for lunch or tea when time allows ;)

You stay well & fit ok?
luv
Bravo