Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trusting in the Slow Work of God


"Above all, trust in the slow work of God
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability and
that it may take a very long time...Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1955)

(prayer taken from here)



True confession? I'm an impatient person. Also true confession? I'm an overly cautious person. Triple true confession? So is my daughter.


I've done my share of studying Teilhard de Chardin, and in general I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of theology. But...BUT...I do kind of like this particular prayer. It's something we used to reflect on during our formation retreats in graduate school. It's a helpful reflection for those of us who are simultaneously impatient and cautious.


One, the work of God is slow...and we need to be patient to see it come to fruition! Two, following God, and trusting in His Will for your life means that you have to step outside of the bounds of what may be "safe" and "cautious." 

Today, I was reflecting at some point how only this vocation could lead me to holiness in the way it has. I long thought that God might be calling me to religious life and was surprised when I discerned He was calling me to marry the Abbot. But do you know what? God knew what He was doing! He knew exactly what I needed to become holy. (And never you fear...I still have a long way to go!)

I'd long prayed for some many graces -- the grace to trust, the grace to face various fears of mine, the grace to let go and let God...and through my marriage and motherhood, God has given me the grace that I've long needed in ways I never could have imagined.

The most beautiful way that He has led me in holiness is by sending these two particular people (the Abbot and Sister Stinky) into my life. I see so much of myself in Sister Stinky...especially in her extreme caution. Thankfully, the Abbot brings out some daring in both of us. But, when he's not around...I find God calling me to lead my Stinky beyond the bounds of what's known to the unknown.

It may seem small now - exploring a beach, going down the slide at the park, etc. - but it will lead to big things in her life. Discerning her vocation. Giving God her yes. The baby steps she takes now will lead to so much more.

Of course, that means letting go, and trusting that God will lead both her and I. It means stepping beyond the bounds of my comfort and allowing her to grow up at her own pace.


It's a slow process. The path to holiness always it! But it's a path I'm glad to be on.

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