I’m happy to introduce you to my dear friend Rhonda Ortiz … who has developed a fabulous new ministry that really spoke to my heart (my anxious, anxious heart!). I subscribe and am always so edified by the scriptures and reflections she shares each week!
I know Rhonda is eager and excited to share this encouraging new ministry with you … it is my pleasure welcome her as my guest!
Guided 10-minute meditations consisting of recited and spontaneous prayer, Scripture and Scripture reflection, questions to ponder, and silence.
- Rooted in Church teaching and the wisdom of the saints.
- Centered on themes of trust, mercy, and redemption.
Do you experience anxiety in your spiritual life? Does a current of worry and perfectionism underlie your prayer and daily decisions? Do you suffer from scruples, seeing sin in everything, even where there is no sin?
I do. I battle this daily. And that’s why I’ve started this ministry: to offer encouragement and a way to help grow our trust in God’s love and mercy.
Years ago I had a spiritual director who had a colorful way of describing the problem of self-loathing. He called it “swimming in pus.” This image made perfect sense to me. The anxiety, perfectionism, and scrupulosity I struggled with stuck to my soul like slug juice.
My director saw that, insecure and afraid of my own sinful shadow, I struggled to accept basic Christian tenets: that God created me out of sheer goodness and love, that he destined me to be his child, and that Jesus’ death and resurrection promised me life and freedom.
He suggested I meditate on God’s love every day as part of my battle against scruples. His advice followed that of the saints: the scrupulous must “assiduously” cultivate trust in God, St. Alphonsus Liguori says. That my spiritual director was anything but a loosey-goosey, cheesy rainstick-toting Kum Bah Yah priest, I took his directive seriously.
Those mediations built a spiritual foundation that carried me through a rock bottom and into spiritual and psychological healing. I cannot overemphasize how important coming to know and live in God’s love has been for my own growth in Christ. We hear God Loves You so often that we tend to tune out the message. But Love is what God offers us. In Love, he draws us into union with himself, proving himself greater than our fears. I still struggle, but by God’s grace I can at least pray, “This stinks, but you’ve redeemed it. Amen.”
The Scripture for the Scrupulous newsletter is for my fellow pus-swimmers. (It’s gross. I know.) Each week I send out a scriptural reflection touching on themes important for us who are anxious about sin and our relationship with God. These meditations are written in a popular literary style and draw on the wisdom of the saints, particularly the Church Fathers. They are intended to accompany you as you pray for and cultivate the positive virtues needed in battling our “pious problem.”
All Rights Reserved, Rhonda Ortiz, 2016