Be Still, My Heart.
I am a contemplative nun. That means the primary focus of my life, every day, is prayer and meditation. I believe deeply in the power of prayer – I’ve seen so many blessed, mysterious and miraculous things happen as a result of prayer that I would be a fool to feel otherwise!
When I am not praying for the world and the people living in it, my directive is to live prayerfully. To live loving, as much as I am able, as Jesus did, and as He tried to teach us to do. Part of that loving manifests in spiritual counselling and teaching others how to find God within and all around themselves. There is nothing in this life that I would rather do, and I count myself blessed to be able to live the life I want and need to lead.
Most contemplatives live under a vow of silence in their own convents and monasteries. Some live alone in private, rural settings that are conducive to contemplation. That’s what I had been doing until my son became a quadraplegic and I was given dispensation to have him come and live with me. So a lot of my time now is taken up with the 24/7 care a paralysed person needs.
You can do anything, or live any kind of life, prayerfully, and having him at home hasn’t diminished my life in any way – in fact, I am indescribably richer for it.
But this week I’m trying to get ready to go on Retreat. It’s enough of a job making sure ministry committments are provided for. Many of us have also written and prepared lectures. Now I also have to make arrangements for my son’s care while I’m gone, and it has to be done with delicacy to preserve his dignity, boost his confidence and help him to find pride in just how much he can do for himself. An emergency nurse who understands that can be hard to find.
It’s not going well. I keep running into obstacles and out of time! I feel extremely stressed, and to frost the cake, I am moving onto my third night of painful insomnia. Instead of feeling filled with joy and expectation about my Retreat, I am bad tempered, overtired, snappy, unpleasant, angry at times, and a little resentful. This all makes me feel even worse!
Some of you may remember my mentioning a very special, sensitive friend of mine who has a gift for asking probing and revealing questions. Recently she asked, “Sister, what is in your heart today?” It stopped me cold because of course I saw that the one and only thing in my heart at that moment, was ME.
Which is why everything was going so badly. I was so intent on doing things right that I forgot to do them lovingly, and prayerfully. I forgot to live from my heart and my spirit and my faith. I forgot to listen for the Holy Spirit and my “PGS”. Thank God that we have the option to go on a Camino or to a Retreat, and find our centre again.Thank God for the blessing of sensitive friends!
How is your week going? What’s in your heart, today?