by Sister Elise Cholewinski
One of the dreams I had for a long time was to do retreat work. That time did come, and in 2001 I was involved in directing at an individually directed retreat for the first time. I was nervous but I had a very good mentor and I came away feeling very privileged and looking forward to being director again the following summer. One Saturday evening late in July I was returning from our family picnic, acknowledging that my summer activities were coming to an end, and as I climbed the stairs to my apartment, I heard the phone ringing. It was my mentor. She told me that one of the directors for the next retreat had to cancel, and was wondering if I could come back to the retreat house and help direct at the next retreat. Could I? Yes, the school year was approaching, but I would make it work!
The following morning I sat down to pray and looked at the Gospel reading for this Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In it Jesus says, "ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." When I read that verse, I was startled, recalling what had occurred the night before. Sometimes we don't even ask, and we already receive. How very gracious and generous is our God.
Our nation has become a nation of seekers. We seek everything from success to prestige to possessions to pleasure, but we also seem to be seeking something much deeper, the real meaning of life. As a woman once told me, there has to be more to life than going to work and coming home again.
This deep yearning in our hearts is really a grace already planted there by God. When we find ourselves searching for a deeper relationship with God, we can be sure of one thing -- God is longing for us. When we are happy because we have new meaning and purpose in our lives, we need to be aware that God is rejoicing, too, because what God has been seeking has been found. Sometimes we ourselves are the answer to God's own asking, seeking, and knocking.
1. What is my deepest longing or desire?
2. What does that tell me about God?
chapter 25, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Laura Zelten
The Ten Commandments are a source for Christian morality. God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses, and Jesus acknowledged the commandments when he told the rich young man, "If you wish to enter eternal life, keep the commandments." (Mt. 19:17)
To worship God means we accept God as our Creator and ourselves as made in his image. To understand what it is to worship, think of some sins against the First Commandment: idolatry (false worship of many gods), atheism (denial of God's existence), agnosticism (neither belief nor disbelief in the existence of God). Oppositely, the First Commandment asks us to practice the virtues of faith, hope and love.
Thank you, Sister Elise, for your reflection. It reminds me of "The Hound of Heaven" poem. God is always seeking us. Why don't we find Him?
Thanks, Sr. Elise, for this reflection in particular, and for all your creative offerings over the years that have uplifted and inspired me.
Thank you Sister Elise for the reminders in your reflection especially reading that we are often Blessed when we do not even ask. God is very good and gracious.