There’s a Christian song I really like called “Lead Me To The Cross.” In one line the singer asks God to “Rid me of myself.” The song and that lyric in particular have always resonated with me.
As I think about the lives of the Saints- those people who followed God to the extreme, it was always the same. Their lives became not about what they wanted for themselves, but about accepting what God had for them. About God giving them everything they want, because they want everything He gives (St. Therese of Lisieux).
Let it be known that I have quite the distance to travel to reach Sainthood. Still, I find more and more, that lately, my prayer has been that I would be emptied of all the things that are me-focused… and that God would grow in me the Grace to be other-focused, and Him-focused.
I am praying to be emptied of myself.
To be emptied of pride. Pride that is so sure my own way is the best. That I can do things better than others.
To be emptied of distractedness. The need to escape the present.
To be emptied of bitterness. The idea that holding onto the pain others have caused me is somehow my right.
To be emptied of impatience. A hurriedness that forgets to slow down and see the beauty of the world that is around me.
To be be emptied of selfishness. That desires my own pleasure above that which is good for those I love.
This…. and so much more. I desire to be emptied. But, not only emptied. For if I were emptied of these things and not filled with something else I would only be a useless vessel, void of substance. I want to be emptied, yes. But not only emptied. I also want to be filled.
Both Jesus and Mary are described in the Bible as “Full of Grace,” and only a few others that use similar terminology to describe them in essence, as “Full of the Holy Spirit.” I want to be emptied. But I want to be filled with the Grace that allows me to live my life more in union with my Savior. This is not something I can accomplish of my own doing. This is something that God can do inside of me, should I turn toward Him and allow Him to work in me.
I am praying to be filled with Grace.
Fill me with the Grace to be humble. The ability to acknowledge others above myself. And to defer my own preference to the benefit of those I encounter.
Fill me with the Grace to be present. To be truly, and fully, where I am. Right then. And right there. Mind, body and soul.
Fill me with the Grace to forgive. To extend the Grace you have given me to those who have wronged me. And to fill me with the Grace that will help me to be uneasily offended by others.
Fill me with the Grace to be patient. Patience when my children move slower than I would. Patience when my husband sees and does things differently than I would. Patience to realize that there is value in these things. That my way is not always the best.
Fill me with the Grace to be selfless. That I would not fight so much for my own rights, as to defend the rights of others. That I would be content to be the least, and rejoice with others as they are more than I. To be content and seeking out only that which God has called me to do.
Fill me with the Grace to to develop all of these things. That my life might more resemble that of your Son, Jesus. And your mother, Mary. And all the other Saints on earth and in heaven who have emptied themselves, and allowed You to fill them with the traits that help their lives look radically, and totally like Jesus, in each and every way.
One thought on “Empty Me… Fill Me”
Thanks for sharing this. While reading this I was thinking of how these spiritual concepts align so perfectly with my 12-step recovery program. There’s something miraculous that occurs when we humble ourselves. We turn over all within and out of our control. We ask God to remove our shortcomings and pray daily to know His will and for God to enable us to carry it out. “Thy will, not mine be done.” I believe we become more of ourselves, the best we can be, when we strive to align our will with His. I love how the Catholic faith offers such beautiful tools to help us grow spiritually, and how each and every one of them helps me in my recovery journey.