Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One Person's Calling Fulfilled

From the Hermitage

Wednesday of Holy Week 2014

Isaiah 50:4  * The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how to answer the weary a word that will waken them.  Morning after morning he wakens my ear to hear as disciples do;
Isaiah 50:5  The Lord GOD opened my ear; I did not refuse, did not turn away.

Dear Friends,

Two simple verses from one of the more powerful books of the Old Testament.  As we draw closer to the most sacred of days in our Church's year, perhaps thoughts have been passing through your heart and mind about priorities.  Hearing confessions for the last two evenings, I have been moved by the struggles men and women have to bear in today's culture, today's society.  These words from the third person to write the Book of Isaiah (yes, there were 3 unidentified writers!) reflect one man's experience of prayer.

A suggestion:  read these words several times in a rather slow pace.  Don't hurry.  And be like the author:  read and listen to the movements of the Holy Spirit in your mind and heart.  Each morning prayer is so very important.  Through the stillness of meditation and reflection, the Holy Spirit empowers us to hear, to listen "as disciples do."

Again, back to the confessional scene:  no doubt every priest who is worth his salt must struggle within his mind and heart to be the voice of the Spirit "to answer the weary a word that will waken them" to know the goodness of the Lord.  But everyone of us who tries to follow Jesus, our brother, may daily encounter others who are hurting, seeking peace, wanting God's love.  To reach out to the is one of the reasons God make the call to prayer.  Most do not have the time to go off to the desert or to disappear from the crowd to train the heart and soul to be open to the special moments of the Holy Spirit calling out.  Calling out?  Yes, inviting us to accept the Word of God in our lives.

If the good intentions of Ash Wednesday seem to have blown away like ashes in the wind, perhaps this week offers a genuine opportunity set priorities in one's life ... especially as regards our prayer life.  Just as the penitent hopes the confessor will say the right words to life a burden from his/her shoulders, so should all penitents pray daily that the Holy Spirit will enable a friend to say the right words when someone comes distraught, confused, lost, angry, unfulfilled, lonely and so forth.

As the third writer of Isaiah teaches:  "The Lord has opened my ear.  For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away."  Let the Lenten journey offer a sense of satisfaction:  consider how even the few times you may have been able to seek the God in a moment of stillness and let these be a power that enables you to be the voice of God present to those in need.  Remember: YOU ARE GOD'S DISCIPLE!

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt