Like the Orbit of a Comet

Penni asks, “Do you remain Christ-centered and where is your balance?”

I have no idea where my balance point is. As soon as I think I have found it, something knocks me off it, and I try my best to return to it. The funny thing is, as soon as I think I have returned to the last place I felt balanced, I find that the true balance point has shifted slightly to a new position, and again the tension and struggle to get there ensues. Ironically, my balance point swings like a pendulum between family/friends and solitude, between silence and noise, between prayer and action.

As for being Christ-centered, I pray St. Joan of Arc’s prayer. To paraphrase it:

God, if I am not in your grace, please put me there. If I am, may it please you to keep me there.

I find myself in an elliptical orbit around Christ like the comets around the sun. At aphelion, I feel like a ball of ice—distant, lost, cold, lonely, tarnished—desolation. At perihelion, I feel like a blazing comet with its tail all aglow—close, energized, warm, vibrant, shining—consolation. I would hope that the orbit is tightening up, becoming more circular, closing in on the source of light, but I suspect that it is becoming even more elliptical, more oblong and distorted, more erratic. The periods of consolation and desolation seem to be growing in their intensity. Unlike a comet, I think I am closest to God when I feel like I am the farthest away.

I am not too worried about it though. Although I have recently resisted it with much intensity, I am coming to accept with deep trust that this is the path the Lord has chosen for me. Love will point to the way ahead.

Surrender to the Beloved is paradoxically liberating and energizing.

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