Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 34: Angry at God

Last week I was typing up an Examination of Conscience for my parishioners to better prepare them for confession.  I was "borrowing" from various examinations on the internet and in books to come up for one that suited my parish and they all had the basic structure of asking questions of ourselves of whether or not we have committed a particular sin.  Then I came to the following question: "Do I get angry or question God?"  I paused.  I meditated.  I doubted.  I even texted a brother priest: "Is being angry at God a sin?"  He immediately replied emphatically: "Absolutely not! What I do with that anger is what makes it a sin."  We both shared the same sentiments because as priests we are so blessed to part of so many beautiful moments in the lives of our people, but on the flip side of the coin we sometimes see our people go through unspeakable pain over and over and over again.  When we see our people take punches like a prize fighter absorbing body blows, we can't help but look up to the heavens and ask God: "Seriously?"  So yes, it's natural to question God because at the very core of our heart is a longing for him that prompts these questions because we sometimes don't get his will.  As priests we don't have the answers to the question that the psalmist poses: "Where is your God? (Psalm 42:4)"  We just trust, look at the cross, and remind ourselves that in spite of whatever cruel reality we may be facing, Jesus died on the cross to show us God's love...except sometimes we're left wondering why we don't feel that love.

As the deer longs for streams of water
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I enter and see the face of God?
My tears have been my bread day and night,
as they ask me every day, “Where is your God?”
I will say to God, my rock:
“Why do you forget me?
Why must I go about mourning
with the enemy oppressing me?”
It shatters my bones, when my adversaries reproach me,
when they say to me every day: “Where is your God?”
Why are you downcast, my soul,
why do you groan within me?
Wait for God, for I shall again praise him,
my savior and my God.  (Psalm 42:2-4,10-12)