“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” – Lk 11:23
One of the chief ways I experience my inner brokenness is fragmentation and scatteredness – the lack of harmony within my soul. For example, I can quickly tell that I’m not in a spiritually good place when my affect suddenly pulls me in one direction and my weakened will immediately assents to it in spite of my intellect’s nagging sense that this is not good for me. (On better days, I am able to pause and direct my will to obey what I know to be the better course of action.)
So it is that I often find myself unfree, slave to various distractions that call out to me, such that I can end up feeling pretty disgusted at how ill-disciplined I am. I hate that. Yet it is such a big part of my humanness – my spiritual heritage this side of Eden. God gathers. The Evil One scatters. And there is nothing our Enemy delights more in scattering than our souls in dissipation. When we are thus scattered, we lose touch with the ground of our being – God.
Thus, what a grace it is when God enters the mess I find myself in. His healing touch gathers up the scattered, fragmented parts of me and makes me WHOLE. Instead of a disconcerting lightness of being, I experience a groundedness and solidity that anchors my being. No longer do I feel that I am at odds with myself, for God’s Spirit brings me to harmony once again and enables me to direct myself – mind, heart, body and soul – towards Goodness, Beauty and Truth.
Every day I am tempted with dissipation. When I yield to small temptations, I find myself quickly weakened against stronger ones that will surely come. The only sure way I can overcome my temptations, or to come quickly around when I have lost some battles, is prayer. The moment I still myself and come before God in the silence and solitude of my heart, I begin to experience God as the Gather of My Soul.
The moment I have entered into prayer, I am once again anchored in the certitude of his love. “God is with me,” my heart says reassuringly to me. And indeed He is. Indeed He truly is.