“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I know nothing about the art of shipbuilding, yet the vision offered by French aviator and award-winning author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, suggests a depth of insight beyond mere construction techniques. To me, he speaks eloquently not only of the mystery of the sea, but to that of contemplation!

While volumes have been written about the contemplative encounter, this Divine gift for which we can only prepare springs from our longing for the endless immensity of God. Desire for love opens the door to our relationship with God; one that forms all others, those with self, neighbor and all creation.

Yes, we do pray, we do serve, we do face challenges, but “these tasks” are themselves transformed in and with my Lover, or rather ours, the Lover of us all.[1]

During these wintery days fraught with wind chills and frozen waters, perhaps we are being invited once again to long for the immensity of God. Don’t miss the ship, it sails daily!


[1] Saint Angela Merici,Writings: Rule, Counsels and Testament (Rome: Ursulines of the Roman Union, 1995) 87.

Sister Joanne Buckman, OSU