[quote="Student09, post:1, topic:181454"]
I can't believe there are still three months left before I receive the sacraments! It's tearing me apart. I feel like my spiritual life is faltering with no support. I want to be baptized ... I want to be part of the Church ... I want to receive the Holy Spirit and to receive Jesus. I say I want them, but the truth is, I need them. I feel like the pain of waiting is so intense that I try to distract myself from it by doing things I don't usually do, like eating too much. I don't know, I just feel stuck.
Please help. I need suggestions for how to wait patiently ... and what to do while I wait.
Also ... sometimes when everyone receives Communion, and I can't, I wonder if Jesus doesn't want me to receive Him, and that is why He is making me wait. I feel rejected.
I really need help.
Augustine said, "Our hearts will not rest until they rest in thee" What you may be feeling is the same restlessness of which Augustine speaks. The human heart was made for God and God exists for the heart.
The Carmelite mystics would call what you're feeling a consolation. It is truly a consolation in that while you're not organically inside the Church, God is with you and he allows the soul to experience hunger for him. It is this experience of the soul that reminds the mind that God is close at hand.
Our Holy Father St. Francis went through a similar experience after leaving his parents' home. For three years he lived alone in caves and other solitary places. All he could do was pray. He knew that there was more, but he did not have the power to make it happen. What he did may help you. He threw himself into the present moment. He ceased to long and wait for what was coming, but decided to respond to what God gave him every day and at every moment. What happened was very interesting. Each time he went to prayer, to mass, to read the scriptures, he found a message. He never lost time thinking about it too long. He jumped on it without worrying about tomorrow. Whatever message God gave him that day, that was his command to follow.
What transpired was that he was transformed from a man who needed to have everything planned and programmed to a man who was able to give up all of his worldly and material attachments, because he became totally attached to God. He actually enjoyed playing this game with God. He would awaken and God would comand. He would respond and wait for a new comand. During those three years, he grew in intimacy with God. God became his personal friend, not just a transcendent God, but an incarnate God.
Sometimes, when we have these longings, as you are having, they are about two things. They are about what is to come, in you case the reception of the Sacraments and entrance into the Church. That is a temporal event and reality in that it has a planned date and time. But there is often a second reality that is not temporal. That reality is God's desire to lead you. For him to do that, you must let go of what will happen in three months. That will come. But in the meantime, God is trying to take you by the hand and show you something. You won't know what it is until you do like Francis. You have to wake up and close your eyes. With your eyes closed ask God, "What is your plan for today?" Then whatever God says to your soul, do it.
Francis found that by jumping off the cliff without any concern for himself, he never reached the bottom. God would always catch him. This helped him grow in his trust of God. But you can only trust if you take the risk of letting God catch you. When you do and he does, then you grow into this relationship of brothers. This is what inspired Francis to call himself, Brother Francis. It was not a religious title. It was who he was. He was Jesus' younger brother. He became the Lord's younger brother by playing this game with Jesus. Together, they trusted the Father. He would listen to the Holy Spirit and do what the Spirit said. He would do it for the love of the Father.
What was most interesting about this experience, which his sons and daughters today try to imitate, is that the things that God asked him to do ranged from the ridiculous to the most normal things of everyday life . . . from rebuilding delapidated chapels to taking food to the local leper hospital or spending an exgtra hour in prayer, sometimes working a little harder. Each day it was different. But they were always small things in the eyes of the world, but huge in God's eyes, because they were what God wanted of him each day.
So, just let go of what will happen in three months. Enjoy the consolation of knowing that God is near. Thank God for that awareness and while you're thanking him, ask him, "Lord, what is the plan today?"
Br. JR, OSF :)