Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Patient Trust

I decided to make this retreat as a way of stopping and taking stock of my internship year at the mid point. As it turns out, I have completed seven months as of the weekend of my time apart. A time to reflect and pray about all that has gone on my life these last seven months in a large parish that has been around since 1730 with a staff in the double digits. There is a very different perception of time and of timing.
A vicar's time in the parish is short- a year.
The ongoing work of the collective body spans a much larger and longer spectrum. Vicars spend time in class preparing to integrate learning.
Time in the parish shows that the flow of integration in real life in the parish is vastly out of sync with the world of the semester. None of this is earth-shattering news, and yet reality "on the ground" must be processed.
Where are the joys and moments of God's grace?
Where are the challenges and how might God be speaking in them?

"Patient Trust"
by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

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.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually-let them grow, let them shape themselves,
without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today
what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading you
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

1 comment:

Robin said...

LOVE the photographs. Especially the one of the Adirondack chairs in the snow, hopefully awaiting springtime.

You probably know that I call that the Grand Canyon prayer. I prayed it a lot before starting seminary and then I started laughing every time it came up, as I realized that for a paleontologist like Teilhard, "the slow work of God" was a good deal more extended than the five minutes or so I had in mind!

(I seem to be switching IDs here as I move to The New Blog.)