Why “Steadfast Spirit”?
Who needs a blog on “found” spirituality? I do. And I hope that in some small way, it’s helpful to you, too.
You see, I’ve been meaning to do some writing like this for long, long time. The talent’s certainly there: I know how to turn a phrase – well enough that I’ve been earning a living with my writing skills for more than 30 years.
But frankly, my good intentions about writing something worthwhile – something spiritual – haven’t amounted to much. In my home office, I have file-folders full of false starts: Notes. Titles. Outlines. Even a few chapters here and there. None of it, though, ever seems to make it to the finish line – and I’ve found that to be more than a little discouraging over the years. This fecklessness has become a favorite hot-button for Satan – The Accuser (Rev 12:10) – to push when he’s working on my tortured soul.
Then when Mardi Gras 2013 rolled around, it occurred to me that I was dreading the beginning of Lent. I found myself hating the whole idea of this season of renewal: the reminder that I am sinful, that I am slothful, that I am comfortable – or that, because I am loved, my practices and habits could actually change.
I remembered what I had journaled at the start of Lent last year:
Psalm 51 this morning: My prayer, my refrain for Lent: “Create a clean heart for me, O God…and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” How often have I prayed these very words…but today at Mass I realized that I really meant them…and I felt a stirring of hope that You would answer them in me…that You desire to answer them in me: a clean heart, and a steadfast spirit. I desire them, too, Lord…and I pray for that desire to continue to grow in me.
It’s tempting to assert that my loving Father left that little prayer unanswered.
It’s probably closer to the truth to note that I have squandered much of the grace He poured out on me over the past twelve months. Squandered it, looking for guarantees…clinging to pride…pathetically longing for fame.
That’s my baggage. It weighs me down, even though I know better: “He instructed them to take nothing for the journey.” (Mk 6:8)
Nothing, perhaps, but the steadfast spirit I’ve been praying for all these months. Something tells me, it’s been there all along. So you could say this blog is my Lenten almsgiving: My pledge to pay attention to the spiritual bounty that the Lord sets before me…and to share that Good News with others.