I am feeling overwhelmed by the time that I can’t change. As the clocks move forward, I struggle to catch up. The hours and minutes and seconds are in a sprint before me, and I am breathless and desperately chasing… time. In a haze of exhaustion and sorrow, the words in my bible seem to run off the page. Esther’s desperate plea for protection against her enemy, the psalmist’s cry for help. Sometimes I feel as if the words are there but I just can’t seem to catch up… in the same way time is escaping the grasp of my hands. God am I enough?
It is very obviously winter in my soul. Lent does that to me. When I have strained and poured myself into the divine colander, making the Master tear apart my imperfections, and there are many. God is not cruel, but the truth sometimes is. And I wonder how I ever thought these words in my head, Am I my own Master?
The hiddenness of God is the beauty of God. As I travel, grope ground and dirt along my way, I am drowning. This is the part where I start to get hungry. This is eight days in the desert with no food from the world. It is just me and God.
And the more I sink, I fail, I get dirt on my face is the more I want Him; the more I realize that there is nothing good in this world. And the more the world reaches out to me with all its false temptations, sorrow and madness is the deeper I run into the Lenten desert he has created for me. It is not a retreat or defeat, it is a crown of thorns. It is not fighting back. It is a wanting for holiness. The world has nothing to offer me.
The Kingdom of God will grow upon earth, will be brought to fulfillment, in the same way it was established; by the daily and seemingly hidden lives of those who do always the will of the Father.
Servant of God Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.
Run to the wilderness with me!