It’s absolutely beautiful out here tonight in Omaha – 90 degrees and calm. I’m sitting in front of the fountain at Creighton, just pondering the immensity of senior year that has snuck up on me. Seriously, where has the time gone? I just got out of a night class called “Prayer and Discernment: Finding God in Daily Life.” So here I am, looking. Fr. Hauser has long been one of my favorite Jesuits (not to say that they aren’t all great…) but he has been a prominent faith mentor of mine since I have been at Creighton. From saying Candlelight Mass every week, to becoming a familiar face that I can talk to on the mall, I immediately snagged the opportunity to take his class before my time at Creighton ended. The title of the course alone got me interested, but the name of the instructor got me enrolled.
Anywho, we had our first class tonight, and let me just say it rocked my world. It was exactly what I needed to start out my senior year. I feel as though having a class that focuses on spirituality in practice over learning concrete concepts that I will be tested on is far more helpful at this point in my life. He proposed the question today of whether or not we take time to be silent in front of God. This is NOT an easy task for me. I am not good at being silent. I am loud. I talk a lot. I even write a lot. This idea of silence does not bode well for me. Yet as much as I am joking about this and thus taking it lightly, I really do admit to a greater insecurity of silence before God, and myself.
I am terrified of being that vulnerable, to be alone with my thoughts and my impure heart, fully open to God’s criticism. Yes, I know that God wants me to be vulnerable and open my heart to Him – but woah, can’t I just pray? Can’t I just be a good Catholic? I know that the answer is no. I was consoled about this very topic last spring with a friend who has served as a HUGE inspiration of faith in my life. She asked me about where I was at with God right now. Was I comfortable in my faith? Unhappy? Filled with God’s love? My response to her was that as much as I wish this wasn’t the case, I am extremely scared of focusing 100% of my attention on God in silent prayer. I want to fill that silence with guided prayer, reading of the Bible, listening to worship music — anything to fill that void of sound. When I talked further with her, it became clear that the main reason behind this discomfort with silence is due to my attitude of God. I am a young woman on a journey of faith, but who has legitimate hurt and wounds that I blame God for. Though I realize that this is natural and there is nothing wrong with it, I still struggle with fully mentally acknowledging this fact to God. You may laugh and say, “guess what! He already knows!” And again, I realize this. But at this point, I can speak freely about this to a cyber-audience, to particular friends, and to faith leaders – but the idea of admitting this in a time of designated prayer frankly scares the hell out of me. I don’t want to admit my anger and frustration to God because I know that the next step will be getting over the grudge I am holding. The problem is, I don’t know if I’m ready to give it up yet. Maybe I am just scared of the possibility of peace in my heart, because I haven’t felt that purely in such a long time.
I can truly say that in my opinion, the notion of “Let go and Let God” is one of the hardest things to do. To bring this full circle and try to apply it to your own life instead of just witnessing my relationship stress with God, I will bring up a piece of wisdom from the video we watched in class tonight. One woman explained how she was feeling using this metaphor: “I feel as though I am on the edge of a cliff, right on the edge. Someone is telling me that I should jump, but I can’t just yet. I think that the person to catch me will be God, I mean, I know it is. But I guess I’m not convinced just yet that He will be there. That is my struggle.” I figure that I am in the same position that this woman was in. The knowledge that God will be there to catch me is there, it is the trusting that he will indeed catch me is the problem. Where are you? Are you on the cliff? Have you jumped? Or are you at the other end, staring at the majestic journey in front of you?