LIFE MEANS BECOMING ORIENTED TO WHO WE ARE & WHO WE ARE MEANT TO BE IN LIGHT OF WHO CHRIST IS.
I heard something on EWTN recently- an old program of Mother Angelica's, called "Mornings With Mother" (which my Catholic radio station plays in the evening for some reason)... :)
Anyway, I had gotten off work & tuned in just as she was telling someone that "practicing virtue isn't hypocritical". That is, when I feel angry inside but put on a happy face because I am mindful of my need for God & truly desire to change how I feel, that's ok. That's practicing virtue. If I feel angry inside & put on a happy face without acknowledging my need for God or the desire to change, that's hypocritical. It was a small relief to hear, as I had been regularly fighting to be kind in a situation that usually sends me reeling...
I was reminded that life is primarily about becoming oriented to the realization of what really lurks inside of me. I desire to be kind at times, but I also desire to rage & have my own way. I desire to love at times, but I also desire to hate. This is what really lies inside of me, and I am learning to acknowledge that truth without parading out the negatives for all to see.
Part of becoming oriented to who I am is also discovering who God wants me to be... Indeed, He desires "truth in my inmost parts". It sometimes means acknowledging that lost feeling inside- I am nowhere near where I should be spiritually. Other times, I simply need to pause to make sure I'm on the right track. Becoming oriented most certainly means acknowledging my need for assistance. It involves being still to not only contemplate my options, but to observe both my surroundings & internal disposition before moving forward.
"Lord, I am angry. Help me to be kind & to honour You in spite of that anger. Lord, I feel like I want to hate this person. Please forgive me & help me to love them as You love them." This is what I believe Mother Angelica meant when she spoke of "practicing virtue". As I learn to walk with God, despite the instincts that rage within, I become oriented to be able to discover to who I am & who I am meant to be in light of Who He is.