I've been thinking about my relationship to God lately during this season of Lent. What is my relationship like at the current moment? What are the hopes/desires of the relationship? Have I allowed myself to listen and be receptive of God's movements, or am I doing most of the talking in this relationship?
Like anything, it's one of those things where I say: "well, it could be better."
In many ways, I feel that what I often desire in my relationship with God is what I often desire of my closest relationships: intimacy (in the non-sexual sense of the word), authenticity, openness, understanding...a relationship that is stripped of the masks, where I can genuinely share not only life's struggles but also life's joys. A relationship open to growth and to challenges rooted in love. A relationship where I can simply laugh, smile, and be grateful for the time spent together.
Sometimes some of the most profoundest moments of a relationship can be spent in utter silence.
I have found myself particularly grateful for a number of shared moments I have had with some brother Jesuits. Deep, spiritual conversations on the subway, random hallway chatter, esoteric philosophical/theological debates, daily crossfit exercises, shared prayers before the Lord's table, even playful "pwnings." When I look back at these moments in prayer, I cannot help but simply say "thank you" and bow before holiness clothed in ordinariness. For, in those moments, I often find glimpses of the living Christ, glimpses which often go unrecognized until conscientious prayer moments bring them into the light.
If there is one thing I have been recognizing lately, it is that I have been very much learning about my relationship with God because of what I have been learning about my relationship to those around me. Good, healthy relationships take time to develop, and I very much feel that way about my relationship with Christ. It is a relationship I strive to tend to everyday, but of course, some days are better than others. But, God has always been there, always offering His unconditional love whether I take notice or not.
On the flip side, I have also noticed that my relationships with others is greatly improved when my relationship with God is in right order. When I have not been tending to my prayer life, I notice a stark difference in the way I am able to relate to others. Symptoms include irritability, heightened sensitivity, and even a little "bitchiness."
In my experience, a healthy relationship with God leads to a greater ability to do works of love, and works of love are the bricks through which the earth becomes built like heaven.