Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for July 30, 2023

Reflection for July 30, 2023

10 minutes of listening

Time each day with God is a wise choice

by Sister Francis Bangert

A few weeks ago I was blessed to make a silent preached retreat for Women and Women Religious. The theme was “Time for Peace in the Quiet”. Conference topics included Living in the Present Moment, Lectio Divina, Our Compulsion to Worry, Unforgiveness—A Blockage to Peace, Necessary Losses and Grieving, Acceptance and Surrender, Gratitude and Celebration. Following each conference we were invited to have a conversation with Jesus, remembering that a conversation is two-sided -- speaking but even more importantly listening ... to the will of the Indwelling God.

I was reminded of my retreat experience when I read today’s Scriptures. In the first reading we hear Solomon responding to God’s invitation to ask a favor of God. Solomon asks not for riches or power as he assumes the position of king of Israel, but for an understanding heart, to judge right from wrong, for wisdom.

In the Gospel, Matthew describes what the kingdom of Heaven is like. He uses images of a search to find a buried treasure, to find fine pearls. When found, all other possessions can be released to embrace "the pearl of great price” that is, a deeper relationship with Jesus and the kingdom of God. For me the retreat was a graced reminder that I need daily contemplative prayer to bring me to that inner peace as I go about everyday living amid the noise, confusion, worry and fear that are a part of life.

At the close of the retreat, retreatants shared some of what they heard in their listening. These were a few of their responses:

  • Be still and know that I am God
  • Trust me
  • Hold steady
  • We are all “cracked pots” (through which God works)
  • Jesus is our peace
  • I need you to carry Me to others
  • I love you

To transform these responses into action is to make visible the kingdom of God. 

To give your spiritual life more depth, spend 10 or 15 minutes each day in "listening"    prayer to the God-life within for an understanding heart,  for wisdom.


07/28/2023 9:46 am

A number of years ago - around 25, I'd say - I took a walk in order to tell God all my troubles, and in the process, clear out my mind / heart, hoping to find some of that "peace" and clearer, renewed mind-spirit that Sr. Fran talks about.

While walking along Riverview Drive in Howard, I let it all out to God, telling God, "How can you know what it's like? You didn't live in these times. You lived in times very, very different from these. You didn't have insurance to worry about, you never had to learn to drive a car or drive on a busy highway, you never had all the complications we have today, you never even had kids or teenagers to raise in these times. How can you know what it's like?"

I had no sooner gotten the question out for the second, or third time, when I heard a reply from within myself, yet not 'myself -' from a much 'higher' place, a much 'wiser' place, than just my ol' complaining, wearied, and worried self.

"I know it through you."

In that moment, I realized what it means to be an Incarnational God. I realized how it is God, and God, alone, who knows each and every person so completely, so fully, because of and by God's Incarnational Presence within each one, that it is really God, alone, who understands us. And because it is God, and God alone who understands us, it is God and God alone, who salves and saves us, who comforts us, strengthens us, is merciful and gracious to us.

I realized how Amazing and Awesome Our Incarnational God really is. That God has planned it this way for each one of us from all eternity.

Sr. Katherine Fax
07/28/2023 10:11 am

One of the best reflections that I have read in a long time. Thank you for the deep and rich insights.

07/28/2023 11:00 am

Years ago when our 4 girls were still in grade school and high school I was asking God to show me what his plan was for me to serve him. He said, raise your daughters to walk with Him. I had my answer and still keep loving them and our eleven grandchildren as well. Praise and Thank God every day for the miracles in our lives.

Irene Whatley
07/28/2023 11:08 am

I liked all of the responses ,they truly fit my needs, I especially need to trust God, I want one thing that I am not getting but I know God knows why. TRUST

Diann Wimmer
07/28/2023 1:25 pm

Sr, Fran, I'll think of you this Sunday as we hear the Scriptures that focus on "LISTENING AND WISDOM". Indeed, your Retreat was an excellent prep for reflection on these readings. God speaks but it takes our silence to hear.

07/28/2023 1:55 pm

Thank you for sharing your retreat and how it fits with this Sunday's readings. I appreciate that you shared the responses of Sisters at the end of the retreat. They are like a mini-renewal for me.

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