Have you nothing to annoy you? My child, tell Me your annoyances, with every detail. Who has pained you? Who has wounded your self-love? Who has treated you contemptuously? Tell Me all, and then say that you forgive and forget; and I will give you My blessing.
I have a close friend, Holy Lord. You know her. You love her and long for her to be Your own, just as I do.
She and I disagree on so much—on how we view most of the world’s issues. She doesn’t believe in Your Son’s divinity. When I’ve tried to share my faith with her, she so strongly rejects my words — even going so far as to tell me not to talk “that way” — that I have since tried to avoid any direct mention of You or Your work in my life.
That happened a while ago, Father. But, I don’t know that I’m any better at describing You now. People who already believe understand. But, talking about You — trying to capture in words Your beauty and majesty — requires a whole different language…loftier concepts, better words, more precise images…or maybe that’s all wrong. Maybe, the key is in what I do, more than in what I say or how I say it. In any case, the solution so far is for us to speak of other things.
During this time of Covid 19 and self-quarantining, our conversations have seemed both more needed and more strained. She describes herself as stressed over these circumstances. I can hear her stress in her voice. Brittle, high pitched, hard-edged, frustrated.
I get it. I think all of us feel some of this, although I feel almost guilty at how reassured and consoled I have felt by Your constant Presence with me through it all. I’ve mostly felt energized and rejuvenated by this solitary retreat.
I long to ease her fears with my faith. I long to tell her that there’s something larger, stronger, higher out there — You, Holy Lord — who is in control and who loves her and who wants to help carry her burdens and ease her fears. But it seems as though even my joy — maybe especially my joy — upbraids her emotions even more deeply.
There must be better words — more patient, more kind, more comforting — than I seem to have for her. I’m sorry, Father. You’ve given me so much. I wish I could find a way to share it all with her.
Still, You’re in charge. So, I lift it up and leave it all in Your care…again and again.
When she abruptly hung up on our most recent conversation, I texted her to express my regret for our differences that have walled whole parts of ourselves off from one another. Since then, we’ve texted some. But we’ve not spoken. Baby steps, I guess. Ones we’ve taken on the same road traveled too many times before.
I texted her about planting my Mary Garden and sent her pictures. She loves to grow beautiful flowers and to paint and create beautiful things. I don’t know if she’ll ever engage in a real conversation with me about ‘why a Mary Garden?’ or what it means to me or why I planted it in May or why I prayed for Your blessing of it in my Rosary prayers. But, it is there for her to experience.
I pray that Your spirit moves in her and touches her heart. I don’t know what else to do, Father.
As to forgiving and forgetting, as You ask above of me? I’m not angry. I feel bad that she feels bad. I don’t know how to fix it. It feels as though my continuing to try to talk only exacerbates the situation.
So, forgive me, Father, and help me to wait in patience. And with this prayer help me to move to forget the pain of knowing there must be something more I could do, could have done, should say, should have said.
Thy will be done, Holy Lord, in Your time. Until then, I pray for Your mercy on her, and on me. I pray that You heal her wounds and me of mine, and that You save her from the snares of the Devil, as You save me each day. I pray that You free her, as You’ve freed me, from all that weighs her down and binds her from reaching her arms out wide and embracing the freedom of living her life in and through You.
And I pray that through Your grace and if it is Your will, I may recognize the opportunities You offer me in the future to tell her about Your work in my life.
As a post script, Father, and during this time of immense sadness for the pain and woundedness of our world and especially that of the family of George Floyd, I pray for Your mercy on all of us. I pray for Your healing and comfort for wounds inflicted throughout our time, both intended and untended. I pray that You save and protect all of us from the wickedness and the snares of the Devil. And I pray that You free us of our chains that we might live free of slavery to any will but Yours, oh heavenly Lord.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.