“Patient Trust”

March 3, 2010

I have received many emails and messages from you since my post yesterday. Apparently, many of us can relate to God’s answer of “Not Yet”. I know we are all seeking, discerning, and striving to be humans “fully alive“. 

A couple of years ago someone gave me a copy of this writing by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.  (I hope to read more of him one day).  This poem was given to me as Chris and I discerned taking the risk for Chris to follow his call to teach, which meant moving from Louisiana.  Today, however, this writing continues to speak to me as we remain in many periods of transition — acclimating to a new city, discerning where to move once Chris is finished, learning to be parents of two children, and discerning each of our individual calls in both our professional and personal lives.  

I hope for all of us, who are getting that “Not Now” answer, that Teilhard’s words will help us wait in hope and will offer us words of encouragement and wisdom to sustain us during the times of uncertainity.  

“Patient Trust”

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 within 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.

~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

What words or phrases from “Patient Trust” resonate with you today?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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