I interrupt the chronological order of Eugene’s letters this morning to share a prayer that he wrote and which was shared by Fr. Frank Santucci, OMI in his daily blog.
“How still imperfect, my God, is my conversion; the root of sin lives on in me; the thoughts and memory of the world are still powerfully at work; the things I have renounced retain their hold on my imagination, and reawaken threatening images.
My heart, still weak, is quite disturbed by it, and in the midst of this disturbance it feels all its passions coming back to life; it takes but little for it to be ensnared.
Is this what it is to belong perfectly to God? My inconstancy in the little good I do, my God, is no less humiliating for me; full of good desires, I am often satisfied with their formulation, almost all my zeal is used up in the making of plans;
I fluctuate between yielding to grace and to my own desires, while time flows by, I journey swiftly towards eternity, and I am always the same.
Shall I all my life be the plaything of the enemy of my salvation? Make firm, my God, my inconstancy, wholly change my heart; inspire within me, for my salvation, the same zeal I showed for losing myself. Sicut enim exhibuistis membra vestra servire … iniquitati … ita nunc exhibete … servire justitiae (Rm 6, 19) [ed. For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves… to lawlessness … so now present them… to serve righteousness.] Prayer for a perfect conversion ” (EO XIV n 24in Oblate Writings)
This touched me deeply today. I am not alone. Of course I am not alone, but I have often wondered what was so wrong with me that I could so easily forget how much God loves me. Often I have asked myself how could I even for a moment forget about God and move out of his embrace? After all that I have been given and after all that I wish to give God of myself how could I keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I would secretly wonder if I was the only such being alive that could not always ‘get it right’. And here we have a saint, a bona fide saint seeming to say the same thing.
This is why I must pray most often. This is why I must daily ask God to fill me, to love me, to send his Spirit upon me, to have others lead and guide and teach.
Frank Santucci said in his blog: “Through the eyes of our Crucified Savior: Because He gives direction when we are in danger of losing direction. […] Conversion and discernment are not once-off events. We have major moments of understanding and conversion and commitment to a life direction and lifestyle – but these have to be renewed on a constant basis. Each day we need to renew our commitment. Each day we need to allow the Savior to look at us and to renew us in our journey.”