Desert lamb…..

Jesus, Jesus,
Shepherd of souls.
Hear me calling
My voice grows faint…

I cannot get up.
I have tried and tried.
Please lift me with Your Love;
Heal me with Your Grace.

You promised to look for me.
I wait all the day in the dark.
I have no food or drink.
I am tired and dirty.

I can scarcely remember You.
In my dreams I recall joyful times:
Verdant meadows where we played
Quiet moments asleep in Your arms.

My wool was white
Washed clean in Your Blood.
I grew strong on
The Bread of Life.

Even my memories
Are fading now…
Come soon my Jesus
To rescue me.

Your Goodness and Mercy
Are my only hope.
Surely You have not abandoned me.
I did not get lost intentionally.

I do not understand…
This darkness,
This dryness,
This lack of Your Presence

Jesus, Jesus, come to me.
Come while I
Can still call Your Name.
Show me Your Heart again.

I will always love You,
Even though you tarry,
I will trust in You,
Even if I am slain.

Jesus, I am Yours.
Through life,
Through death,
In darkness…always.

Related post:  https://theholyfaceofjesus.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/when-the-turtledove-no-longer-sings/

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When the turtledove no longer sings…

Birds from Holland - collared turtle doves; Image ONLY

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the sound of joyful voices praising God’s Goodness.  My mp3 player is chock full of Catholic radio podcasts.

Instead of being uplifted, I felt a deep loneliness.  That used to be me, I thought.  I felt broken – sort of like Humpty Dumpty was broken, all shattered.  Only on the inside.

I’ve been feeling like this for years, but it seems to grow worse over time.  I claim to love God deeply.  I believe in His Love for me.  But, I don’t feel a shred of devotion or affection for Him.  Anymore.   Yet, just the thought of Him once took my breath away.

Every Tuesday, I sit before His Eucharistic Presence for two hours struggling to pray.  I am happy to be with Him.  I love the peace.  But I cannot meditate or pray mentally at all.  I try to remember how thoughts of Him once flooded my mind and heart like an embrace of warm waves washing over me.

I tell Him that I love Him (because I do), but avoid terms of endearment which once tumbled out of my entire being in a litany of praise and adoration.  Such passion would seem hollow, even phony now.  And I am sad for it.

I am aware of Him in every choice that I make.  Is it for or against Him?  I try to do what would please Him, but it’s more like habit than love.  And I don’t want to go to hell — I who once dreamed of rushing into the arms of my Savior after breathing my last.  No fear then.

I have long since given up trying to find out Why.  I have turned my life inside out looking for a reason.  I cannot find one.  It is as though I have fallen into a deep dark well, and there is no way out.  And not one ray of light.

I have asked a few different priests what they thought, but in the rush of a few moments in the confessional, or a 20 minute exchange on retreat, they have not understood, and I cannot blame them.  But I thank them for listening.

“Dark night of the soul”,  a holy nun  with the gift of healing told me.  “But,” she added, “IF you are praying.”   So, all bets are off.

Am I praying?  What is prayer now?  There is no question that I could pray more, much more.  How much do I have to pray to be in the purification of a dark night rather than the lukewarmness of a soul who has left the narrow way and wandered onto the wide road?

I tell Jesus that I believe it will always be this way now.  I no longer allow myself to hope that I will ever again experience His Presence, or my own heart leaping within me at the sound of His Name.  I am so very grateful for those memories.

He has given me more than I could have ever hoped for.  It is His to give, and His to take away.  If I have driven away His favors by my lack of generosity, I pray, as best I can now pray, that I will not one day cause Him to leave me too.

My prayer  is simple now.  It is that of the dying thief:  “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”