At a contemplative retreat on Franciscan spirituality that I attended this weekend, during a period of contemplative prayer I felt a touch, strong and affectionate. (This occurs from time to time -- see post Touch. I tried to describe it, unsuccessfully, to a fellow retreatant, so I am not sure I will do a good job in describing it in this post; hopefully, others who are reading this blog have had some experience with this phenomenon.)
This brought me immediately out of my contemplative state. Although it probably was not particularly what God wanted, I am sure He knows me well enough to know what would happen. It always does when I feel a touch from Him other than a pat on the head. The pats come frequently enough that I am used to them although the first few times they as well startled me.
Over time, I will likely get used to the touches. While I accept them philosophically and emotionally, the reaction is exclusively and most likely a result of years of childhood sexual molestation. I have been told that I am an emotional fortress, and that is likely true as I have never as an adult received unwanted sexual advances -- and I do think I am so ugly as to terrify all men. On the other hand, I am simply not interested in extramarital sex. I have plenty of other things with which to occupy my time and plenty of other ways to complicate my life. That attitude probably exudes in ways of which I am unaware.
Still, it is sad (or so it seems to me) to think that my grandfather (if you really want the gory details, see my post, Pop, on Mahlou Musings) could taint my relationship with God. Any way in which he tainted my worldly life represents but a bump in the road, and I have long ago forgiven him that bump. Worldly things matter little to me. A spiritual taint, on the other hand, means everything to me.
Fortunately, God understands. Even more fortunately, I do not have to overcome my unwarranted reaction by myself. God will help. I know that, and so when it happens that God's touch startles me from a contemplative state, I note that it has happened again -- sigh! -- and return to prayer, turning myself over to God as absolutely as possible. I know that God is patient and with time will bring me into a more perfect union with Him. SO, too, can I be patient, looking forward to that end with joy in the waiting.
Our Lady of Fatima [Flickr]
1 day ago