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The Forever Search

All throughout high school, I struggled to figure out what God wanted me to do. I remember reflecting during our annual retreats at Beaumont; in conversation with my sister Mary; during long walks home from school; and regularly in prayer. Eventually, when the idea of entering the convent surfaced, that was not what I had planned for my life, much less what I wanted to do. Saying NO to the invitation – which was my regular response – never stopped the question from coming. It was only when I said YES, that I was able to experience peace. Acting on that YES and all of the questions that followed, has been a long sojourn of seeking God’s Will by sorting and sifting through all of the external and internal voices that continually challenge me on my journey.

The journey continues and these past several weeks have been a particularly challenging time for me – for all of us – as we struggle to find God in the nasty political rhetoric; in the distortions of what it means to value all of life; during the senseless aggression in Ukraine; and in the almost weekly gunning down of the innocent – for reasons of hate, or for no reason at all! Sorting through all of this has become almost overwhelming. How do you put words to daily tragedies?

Desiring to bring all of this to prayer and compassionate action, I like to allow myself times to pause – time to claim some quiet space without distractions. Most days, I cherish the period of reflection after praying the Office and/or during the brief time after receiving the Eucharist at Mass. So I was annoyed when one of the Sisters interrupted that time of prayer after communion to suggest that we reflect on the words to a song (but not sing it) while she played the melody. No time to sift and sort! I complied!

Much to my surprise, the song became a prayer.

“Send us your spirit, O Lord.
Evening enfolds us and holds us too near . . .
Shine in our darkness, O Lord.

Hold us in mercy, O Lord.
Sorrow has spoken, has broken our hearts.
Clothe us in your care.
Be the life we bear. . . .

Teach us your wisdom, O Lord.
Shadows have crowded our sight.
Give us hearts that see.
Set our loving free.
Hear us and help us, O Lord.

Send us good summer, O Lord,
Winters have chilled us, and stilled us too long.
Give us love’s own fire.
Be our true desire.
Send us your spirit, O Lord. “ (1)

As we celebrate Pentecost, may the Spirit bring to us the compassion,
the care and the wisdom to “hear God’s answer though hidden from our
sight.” (2) May you know Peace!

(1.)Send Us Your Spirit; (2.)Holy Darknessboth by Dan Schutte.

Sister Anne Marie Diederich