Friday, June 3, 2011

Become the Wood

If I had to choose one spiritual struggle which I can never seem to conquer no matter how much prayer and effort I put forth, it would be detachment. I'm not so terribly greedy about holding onto things, but people, on the other hand, that's a more difficult dilemma...I am horribly clingy and needy most of the time, and if you take me on as a friend, well, like it or not, I'm afraid you're stuck with me! Of course, I often worry that I let my human friendships get in the way of the most important friendship of all, that with Christ. It seems that it is far too important to me to be well-liked by others, and I imagine I do more to please the people God has placed in my life instead of doing things to please the Lord alone. I know that when problems come my way, I often turn to others for assistance and as an outlet to vent instead of turning first to Jesus. It makes me wonder if Jesus considers me to be a bit fair weather, choosing Him only as a last resort. So, when I found this passage recently, it gave me a lot to ponder. If I want to emulate the Lord and keep him as the closest friend I have ever had, then I need to become the wood, let Him attach Himself to me so that I will have no choice but to be attached to Him first and foremost, before all others.

"Did it ever occur to you that the only thing our Divine Lord ever became attached to was the wood of the cross? So, if we become the wood of the cross we let Him become so attached to us that there will never be any separation. Remember He said that if he were lifted up he would draw all things to Himself. If he be lifted up through the divine indwelling on the wood in us, He will draw all things through us to Himself.

We know that He had to carry the wood of the cross-and He may have to carry us also. He will "take hold," if we just become like the wood in His arms-that complete limpness in letting Him pick us up and carry us."

Frank Parrish, SJ
Sparks From His Heart


  1. Anne, I can't tell you how timely this is. I struggle too when a friendship takes on a depth, like when the other person has or is suffering and then that just grips my heart so--first in a good way, by feeling compassion, but then it tends to take on a life of its own, and grows into an attachment. Oh yes, I know what it is like to be needy. It is kind of aggravating too. I was riding my bike for long time today, 3 hours, and wondering will I ever make it off the Way of Purgation if I keep having friendships where I am trying to pray, and boom there goes the interruption of the friend again.

    The wood meditation isn't so immediately helpful, so much as reading you are experiencing similar challenge. I'll read it more though. I keep thinking if I pray more God will bring me to a breakthrough on this.

    Michael Gaitley mentions this in his book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, that sometimes we fall in love with Jesus shining in some of his saints, but he doesn't give it tons of explanation other than to keep our gaze on Jesus. I am wanting to write him and see if there is an article he has written that deals with this more.

  2. Great quote, Anne! I think everyone has problems with detachment to a degree - I know I do. It's something I've been working on for years and the change is slow in coming in this area for me. I guess it's because I spent so many years before my conversion trying to please everyone BUT the Lord! Jesus tipped my world upside down and setting it aright is a lot of work :)

    I keep catching Michaela with her hands in the sea glass bag ;) I'm halfway through the book and am really enjoying it! God bless!

  3. Mary-I'm so glad that you are finding the book worth reading and that the sea glass is something your daughter finds attractive as well!

    Colleen-Consoling the Heart of Jesus is an amazing book-I loved it! The quote you chose from it is beautiful and comforting as well. I am glad to know that in the sharing of my struggles, you find hope and comfort. We are never alone, are we?

  4. Wow ... this was a deep one. I'm pretty sure I have never thought about the cross from this angle. Thanks for sharing.

    God Bless you!