Teach Me Your Paths, O Lord

Today I am sharing Sister Gervaise Valpey’s reflection on tomorrow’s reading for the 3rd Wednesday in Lent.

Tuesday, Third Week of Lent
March 13, 2012
Daniel 3: 25, 34-43; Matthew 1: 21-35

The reading from Daniel 3:25, 34-43 encourages us to delve deeper into our hearts to find the humility that will release God’s generous mercy to us. It may have taken the raging furnace for Azariah and his companions to acknowledge their God, but once they recognized their sinfulness and their immense losses they could see a way to
find favor with their God. With “contrite hearts and humble spirit” they sought forgiveness – for themselves and their nation – from the “God of kindness and great mercy.” Once they sought forgiveness, they could “follow God unreservedly . . . with their whole heart.”

What does it take for me – for us – to reach that point of humility, that moment of letting go so we can speak honestly before our gracious God? What do e need so we can go forth giving our all? I have found that taking time to reflect on the experiences
when I have felt most lost and not in connection ith God, enables me to pray humbly with the Responsorial Psalm, “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me teach me your paths.”

One such challenging experience, when I felt most bereft, as the time when my mother lived in a full care unit of a retirement residence. My mother as suffering from dementia. I felt I as indeed being “tried by fire,” as I visited her each day. I looked for answers and searched for words to say. I felt deeply saddened by her condition and that of the residents around her. When I could pray with humility, letting myself move out of the way, before entering the facility, I could be at peace because it as only then
that I truly could be present to my mother. Turning over those moments to God, I could learn from my mother – her sense of gratitude, her peace, her need only for presence.

I believe God responds generously when we are honest with ourselves, and when we can really see hat God has done for us. Let us pray today to recognize God’s abundant grace and presence in our lives, especially at the most challenging moments. “Guide me in your truth and teach me.”

Sister Gervaise in front of a Santa Cruz sunset

The above can also be found at http://www.opwest.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/00-2012-FINAL-Lenten-Reflection-Booklet-271.

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