“The road is not always smooth. How does one know how life will be manifested tomorrow? We take one day at a time without concerning oneself about tomorrow. Answers come in God’s good time.” Sr. Jean Roberts
These are wise words written by Sr. Jean Roberts. Words that I know I need to remember more often because life is not always easy. Or should I say ever easy? There are beautiful periods of time and moments of calm but, when the only certainty in life is change, there will inevitably be bumpy roads ahead as we all adjust to the nuances that life chooses to throw our way. Some changes and challenges can be good and might bring a lightness to us. While others can be very hard. The important thing during these more challenging times, when what the future holds looks much more daunting and dark than promising, is faith. Faith in uncertainty. Faith through life’s chaos.
In looking through our collections I found a few reflections and poems by Maryknoll Sisters, Fathers, and Lay Missioners that spoke particularly to this idea. If you are having a tough time, let their words bring you hope. Let them remind you that tomorrow is another day and each step we take, however small, is contributing and moving us forward.
“We encounter many different realities, languages and religious expressions around the world. Each day our missioners experience life-shaking events – civil war in the Sudan, tsunami in Southeast Asia or the struggle to protect the rain forest in Brazil. In the midst of these overwhelming situations, we find God present in the simple everyday activities of our local communities, relationships with our neighbors and the celebration of life in our mission countries. Like the Prophet Elijah, we find the Lord in the ‘tiny whispering sounds’ of the Spirit.
Of course – like Peter – we also go through moments of doubt and questioning when the storms on the water are rocking the boat and our faith weakens. The complex situations in each country we serve in do not always lend themselves to easy answers. Yet if they did, what would be the need for faith? True faith, it seems, is living each day with the conviction that our small actions are somehow part of a larger movement of the Spirit that is carrying us on in spite of our fear and lack of courage.”
Former Lay Missioners Ted & Maruja Gutmann-Gonzalez
Church Talk: August 6-7, 2005, All Saints Parish, Cincinnati
Former Maryknoll Lay Missioner Terry Donnelly
“In Search of a Transformational Spirituality: A Personal Reflection”
Believe in the dawn,
believe in that crack of Light
that leads to
Believe that the night
lasts not forever.
That guilt will cease
and the Peace Spirit,
Holy Spirit of Light,
of many colors lives in you, with you.
Lose not sight of the dawn
but if you do, deny not
this Reality that continues
to live on in you, and hold on to the Fact
that it will ultimately prevail.
Just ‘note it’
the ill feeling, the thought, the anger,
the guilt and let it go
and go back to believing in yourself
in the Dawn that will eventually
awaken you to its unsurpassing splendor.”
By: Sr. Joan Metzner
Amidst doubt, despair and unknowing
signs of the spirit appear aglowing
Is this the right place, moment, calling?
with fear and insecurity falling
Making the road by walking each day
gently, patiently discovering the way
Confidence, trust are a welcome sight
filling me with hope
of a future bright”
By: Fr. Michael Bassano
February 21, 1993