Tuesday, December 20, 2011
For Those of You Who Don't Want to Be Found
If you're seeking for some hoped-for meaning beyond the everyday, you've probably heard converts' testimonies of God tenderly leading mortals to grace and reconciliation and purpose. But what about your intellect? And what about your past? And what about your deep skepticism because life has been, well, life?
And while I've heard countless, moving stories of God's irresistible clutches of grace, consider the account of C.S. Lewis. Born into a Christian home, this young man full of reason and intellect and logic found himself an atheist. Here is his account after years of trying to prove an empty world with an empty beginning and a despairingly empty end...
"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at least come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."
May the hope of God's relentless pursuit of us - despite our wounds-originated cynicism and endless questions and even our doubts - be yours this Christmas.