Monday, September 5, 2011

In This Abyss, Where I Cannot Find You

This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies.  Sometimes, I can relate to Heathcliff and how he felt all alone as he pleads with Cathy not to leave him "in this abyss, where I cannot find you."

Sometimes, the world seems like an abyss devoid of any presence of Christ.  There are times when it is so difficult to feel His Presence.  He Himself cried out to His Father from the agony of the Cross: "Why have you abandoned me?"  There are times when I feel compelled to ask Him the same.  But of course, I know that He hasn't abandoned me.

St. Therese used to say that if Jesus chose to sleep in her little barque, He was free to do so. "Yes, I want only what He wills, it's what He does that I love."

St. Therese said that she thought it cost Jesus dearly to have to leave us here in our exile.  Sometimes I think of that when it seems like He is so distant or that He's aloof to me, which of course, He never is.  There are times when I feel I am calling out into a great cavern where the only response is the echo of my own voice.  And at those times, I try to remember that it's for my own good, and that perhaps it pains Jesus, as it were, to have to leave me to my self to figure things out, and that there is nothing He longs for more than to reach out and make out things easier.  But He knows the value of carrying the cross, so He, as St. Therese liked to say, "He turns His face, as it were, unable to watch".

A fine priest once reminded us that it's not enough to carry the Cross.  The journey to Calvary culminated with Jesus getting on His cross.  At some point, we will be asked to do the same.  And perhaps because so few, if any of us, will be made to suffer a death such as He did, our cross will not be as heavy, and the agony not so great, but there may be multiple times when we feel like we are crucified with Him.

That is the time to pray for the wisdom and grace to accept what He sends us and trust that it's for our own good.  The world may certainly seem like an abyss at times.  We can be sure it is that way for Him, too, as He is spurned and rejected and loved so little by men.


  1. In considering this feeling of abandonment,I often think of when one must leave a beloved sensitive child at preschool or kindergarten for the first time. You know how it goes--the heart-wrenching cries as you leave the door. It's for their best good, after all, but the child doesn't realize it then, and certainly you feel awful hearing them sob since you know they feel like you are heartlessly leaving them to an unknown fate.
    (By the way, I ran a daycare from my home for 8 years. I'm really familiar with this scenario. :))
    Still, the child learns new and important coping skills in this environment, and better yet, learns that they havent been abandoned after all. The parent always returns, happier than ever to see them.

  2. This is so beautifully comforting. Thanks for posting it!

  3. Julie, what a great perspective, thank you. You are certainly correct, although my mother always reminds me that while she cried on my first day of school, I broke from her grasp and ran ahead without a glance backward - and she still hasn't forgotten about it!

    Thank you, Anne, and God Bless!

  4. Alas, I've never seen any of the movie versions of Wuthering Heights. You know there is a more famous version with Lawrence Olivier as Heathcliff. I couldn't tell you which is better; I'm just not much of a movie person. But I can tell you that is a truely great novel. I hope you've read it. If not, it's a treat. It's one of those novels that if ever asked which novels do you wish you had written, it would most definitely be on the list.

  5. Manny, yes I read the book in college or high school (can't remember which!) and my husband actually prefers the Olivier version of Heathcliff. I like the Fiennes/Binoche version of the movie better.


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