There is hardly a lesser agony than that which one feels when wrestling with God- hiding from God, fighting with God. When one says “I will only serve on my terms”, it is futile, like kicking against the pricks. Anyone who wrestles with God becomes broken. The will, the intellect and the pride become broken and they must be.

I remember a time during my summer retreat when I wrestled with God. I felt an emptiness like no other. I rubbed myself raw saying “no” to Him for a whole day and only when I said “yes” were the terrible pain and emptiness allayed. Instead , immense peace. The same thing happened in early October when I harbored fears about God calling me to celibacy. Indeed my greatest fear was being “alone” and not having someone and I believed as such, I was entitled to marriage and family- that God shouldn’t take it away. Every-time I said “no” it felt as though I were being stabbed through the heart and when I said “yes”, such peace!

However, it isn’t God who hurts us. We hurt ourselves like a bird beating it’s wings against a screen, trying to get outside. The Lord tells us the way to go, a little to the left, maybe up or down or yes, even backwards. How we human creatures love going our own way! We fight against God’s direction, pound and yell at Him in utter resistance. This causes us such agony!

The agony you are causing yourself can come to an end when you bow down your will and self-love before God and let the Divine Physician come in. A doctor cannot do his work unless a patient lets him and sometimes if there is too much resistance, the soul goes comatose, asleep with anesthesia. Don’t think that God will not allow you to feel as though you’re dying so that He can work. Sometimes we are so stubborn and willful, we will only hear Him in our sleep!

The Master’s words will go unheard unless we stop churning and pounding with rage and be willing to wake from the sleep of sadness. Let Him quiet you in the oceans of distress. Stop and know that God is He who is- and you are he who is not.