Feet Shod in Readiness
That man of deeply penetrating compassion looks upon you, calling. He has helped you stand by helping you discern your sacred purpose. He is willing to give you strength to be a person of sound discipline and responsibility. He wills to place a breastplate upon you, one that knows the difference between authentic love robed in dignity and false love robbed of dignity. He has shown you that forgiveness and/or healing should be followed by a reconciled life, a life of thanksgiving, a life of praise to him for what he can do for the human soul that thirsts and aches for love.
Now he, “fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power,” with all of that strength, that knowledge, that supreme energy, intensity, and might! kneels down and prepares your feet to bring love into action (John 13).
FEET SHOD IN READINESS, A SOUL WILLING TO LEARN, GUIDE, AND ADVANCE THROUGH THE ONSLAUGHT OF SPIRITUAL BATTLES
It is said that Mother Teresa considered herself a contemplative in action. She contemplated Christ, the HEART OF LOVE, and did what the HEART OF LOVE asks. LOVE beckons us to share, to be compassionate, to receive so that we can give again. It means amending where we have been wrong, sowing where we can move love along, and giving thanks to God for the wonderful gift of love.
Many people allow the frightening moments of evil to overwhelm them. They say that the existence of evil and suffering is why God does not exist. The God of their vision would not cause such calamities. They are right in that He does not will evil and suffering, BUT they are wrong about His existence because He shows His concern about the problem of evil through JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY SON.
HE has joined us in this battle. HE has become our leader against the final blow of evil: death. HE has conquered it overwhelmingly. HE has let time continue so as to save as many humans as possible. When we are baptized, we join this unseen battle that manifests itself in the worst actions of people. HE shows us authentic love, but do we realize that we can participate in it? HE shows HIMSELF often, but do we have the right knowledge to see HIS work? HE has shown us what this battle entails, but do we realize that by not fighting with prayer, penance, and communion with Christ that we have made a choice not to follow the DIVINE KING in this battle against evil?
You may ask, how can we fight when we are only mothers, sisters, and daughters? You can be ready and persevere by authentically living…
- A life of loving penance with Christ…A mother prepares for this fight by letting her maternal heart grow and show. She walks with feet secure in the direction that she must take, the direction that helps others find Christ. She guides with honesty, seeing the good and the evil that is present. She is practical with her gifts and supernatural in her trust—God can indeed help this fallen world. She shows that there are such things as appropriate boundaries. She gives her children the knowledge they need to make it through this part of the journey. She does not fold under pressure. She does not sacrifice her children for her own self interests. She does not expect anything in return. She gives because she loves. She guides because she knows authentic love.
- A life of loving communion in Christ…A sister prepares herself with her knowledge that loving and being loved is a union of souls. She is self aware, knowing that repentance must and always precedes healing; she is world aware, knowing that all people need healing; and most importantly, she is aware of Him knowing that He can bring deep healing. She shares this knowledge with all honesty. She respects the boundaries of others even when they don’t respect the need for their own personal boundaries. She does not use people, even when they give her permission. In turn, she does not let others use her. She recognizes true needs, so she will not ignore the needs of others. She does not become self-absorbed to work on her own material and spiritual gain while others thirst and ache for bread and the BREAD OF LIFE. She is compassionate with her knowledge since she knows that she herself cannot be the savior, but she knows who is. She learns how to do this because she is aware of the requirements of loving and being loved.
- A life of loving prayer through Christ…A daughter accepts what comes to her, whether that be suffering or joy .She trusts that God knows better. She is not naïve. She knows she’s in a fallen world, but that there is a map that can guide her through the tumultuous and the joyful. She does not forget God and all of His blessings. She can see that He is constantly at work with His gentle hands. She advances through the battle because she trusts, even when it doesn’t feel good.
You have prepared yourself to be an authentic woman by standing fast, girding your loins, and accepting the breastplate. With your feet shod in readiness, prepare to share love with true compassion and be ready to persevere through the defeats and victories as an authentic woman. You can now move onto the final three pieces of armament: a shield, a helmet, and a sword.
“The load carriers, too, were armed;
each did his work with one hand
and held a weapon with the other.
Every builder, while he worked,
had his sword girt at his side.
Suggested mentors: St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc