|Butterfly on lavender, Senanque, France, 2009|
These two devotional readings encouraged me today.
On Cleaving to God by St. Albert the Great (Chapter 5, On purity of heart, which is to be sought above all things):
"This is the true union of spirit and love
by which a man is made compliant
to all the impulses of the supreme and eternal will,
so that he becomes by grace what God is by nature.
"At the same time
it should be noted that in the very moment in which one is able,
by God's help,
to overcome one's own will,
that is to cast away from oneself inordinate love or strong feeling,
in other words so as to dare simply
to trust God completely in all one's needs,
by this very fact
one becomes so pleasing to God
that his grace is imparted to one,
and through that very grace
one experiences that true love and devotion
which drives out all uncertainty and fear and has full confidence in God.
What is more,
there can be no greater happiness than
to place one's all in him who lacks nothing."
"When we won't let ourselves be held in the midst of our messes by God who loves us and made us, we miss the unspeakable joy of knowing that we are truly His beloved."
- Deborah Newman
This brought to mind the original Twelve Steps, published by Alcoholics Anonymous*:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
*Source: Wikipedia: Alcoholics Anonymous (June 2001). "Chapter 5: How It Works" (PDF). Alcoholics Anonymous (4th ed.). Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. ISBN 1893007162. OCLC 32014950. http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt5.pdf.