By Deacon Frederick Bartels
23 July 2015
“Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while” (Mk 6:31).
Rest in God, dear soul, for that is everything. Fear not a lonely place, for in union with God it will become a land of untold delights, where solitude brings consolation, and aloneness unfolds not into painful loneliness but divinely infused joy and peace.
The gifts the Divine Lover thirsts to bestow are many, yet they are often displaced by misplaced love. Does your heart seek what can never satisfy? Do your eyes look upon what cannot fulfill? Do you perceive as distant and too lofty to draw near, your God who remains the intimate yet unknown and undiscovered companion at the door of your broken heart?
O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yea, I would wander afar,
I would lodge in the wilderness,
I would haste to find me a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest. (Ps 55:6-8)
O, dear soul, fly into the arms of God! Flee into the secret wilderness and unlock the doorway to divine love, where an exquisite treasure is hidden from the world but flung open before the humble man. Let your words be silenced before the life and love of Christ! Let your head bow and your eyes be cast down before the living God! Submit to beauty and power and greatness; throw yourself upon your knees for the sake of true love! There, alone with the Divine and Human Savior, in repentance and humility, the meaning of your existence is unveiled. There, in that place, you will be healed, restored, exalted.
There, in desperation, you recognize your utter dependence on God. There, you let go of your life which renders open your heart in readied desire. It is there that things change; it is there that you discover life anew. It is there that you meet the horizon of death to self. And it is there that you fall in love with the Word made flesh who is the light of life.
Let love for God ignite within, O my soul, for then aloneness breaks forth into hope as you abundantly drink of divine peace and rest securely in divine arms. In docility, let the Spirit carry you away, let him lift you on the winds of love and gather you into the wilderness of joy, where Christ is all in all:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mt 11:28-30)
Here you will find peace, my soul: in Christ is your joy; in Christ is your rest.
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Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo. He holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry and is a Catholic educator, public speaker, and evangelist who strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. For more, visit YouTube, iTunes and Google Play.