“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand”.
Upon first reflection of this gospel passage, I examined in fear any time I may have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, since this passage ends with the warning that that is the unforgiveable sin. The fear of perhaps having done so in some way in which I was unaware in my less-formed years, began to block my heart from praying further.
I understood I had to trust in Jesus to bring about a deeper personal message for me. Not one that induced fear. In meditation, I asked God to speak to my heart. My heart jumped in fear of being scolded by Our Lord for my horribly selfish behavior lately, and the sure-to-follow self-loathing that goes with it. My more “parental” self jumped before the inner child, afraid of a scolding, and said “Lord, You must be able to say whatever you like to me. Please say whatever you need me to hear.”
I envisioned a wise father-figure, white beard and robed with His head was hanging down. He softly rested a hand on the back of a chair and said nothing. “Are you angry with me Lord? Have I upset you?” His head remained lowered to the floor as if in deep thought, and after a moment he gently shook his head in a negative response. “No, my child. I love you. TAKE CARE of yourself.” I know this has been a challenge for me lately with the winter-blahs having set in, and nothing in the cupboard seems to be satisfying. I stay up late at night searching for good movies or books for diversion, and excercise has completely illuded me. I reflect on my days in frustration, and feel as though I have accomplished nothing, despite having done four loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, 3 hours or more of homework, and driven to sport practices and school in excess of 100 miles a day most days. Really a good job when you think of who my boss is, and that all of this is beneficial to my precious family, and with gratitude for a husband who works so hard.
I realized that the deeper meaning of this gospel for me today, in this moment of time, is that I am the house that remains divided within itself. I self-loath and negative self-talk all day long, hating myself for every mistake and every lack of effort that separates me from the things I want to do (as St. John says) and makes me do the things I don’t want to do (bad habits, laziness, eating poorly). I am the house that must remain united with Our Lord and I cannot do that if I am hating my own “house”, my interior; poorly kept, dusty and unloved. The gospel states that that you could not take down the house of a strong man unless you tied him up first. Let me be the strong man, Lord. Let me love myself so my house is with you and for you. This is my prayer today. I am off to the gym.