Week 2: My Why

I care because I can’t not care.  I care because the stirring within me is too much to ignore.  I care because if not me, who. Believe me, I’ve tried to ignore this feeling.  I have stayed away from the Church, from my spiritual reading, from Scripture, from my women’s ministry groups, from anything that might call out to me for the past year.  But the Spirit will not be ignored.  That still small voice booms in my head and in my heart and I am stirred.  I can’t not respond.

One of my grad school professors, Sr. Darlene, told us students to pay attention to what disturbs us, to what makes us cross our arms, cringe, and maybe even drives us to anger.  She said that these are invitations to go deeper. These are signs of God calling us to go deeper.  Well, if this is true, then the anger I feel, which has grown since I’ve stayed away, is booming loudly enough that I can’t ignore the invitation lest I forfeit the peace that surpasses all understanding.  I say that because it’s hard to understand that peace can be borne of righteous anger.

I care because I love this Church, with all of its flaws.  I don’t say “I am A Catholic,” rather I say “I am Catholic.”  It is part of my identity.  I tried running away from it but here I am.  I love this Church, it belongs to me and I belong to it.  I can’t just sit back and watch part of me get ripped to shreds by those who can’t or won’t see the Spirit at work in a way that threatens their way of life, their power, their egos or whatever it is that is blinding them.  If I am not part of the solution, then I am part of the problem.  The Spirit is stirring within me, calling me to action, and the Spirit won’t be ignored!  I have something to give, I need to go deeper and find out that that “something” is if I ever hope to have true peace in my life.

I care because I am blessed. I have seen God at work in my life through good times and bad; through infertility, divorce, war and peace, children gone astray, grandchildren, friends, nature, career, sickness and health.  God has not forsaken me.  God has sent the Holy Spirit to live within me and she won’t be evicted!

So here I am, Lord. It is I, Lord.  I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me.  I will hold your people in my heart.

6 thoughts on “Week 2: My Why

  1. Here I am, Lord. I fell in love with this song way back when I went to Catholic school as a Protestant 8-year-old. Keep holding God’s people in your heart. <3

  2. Grateful to share this virtual space with you and cultivating and listening to and trusting the small still center where the Spirit of God reaches us.

  3. Hi Barbara- we are invited to imagine an other way in this process and your image of the Holy Spirit and an eviction process delighted me. Your life work to manage your identity of “I am catholic” is powerful to me. I wonder constantly how such an embedded imperative will not let some of us walk away and others to say this much and no more.I look forward to rocking and rolling with you in this journey. Diane

  4. “What disturbs us” indeed! More and more I feel its more like “what isn’t disturbing now a’days”!? I feel that often times we are told to avoid or repress or ignore anger; I appreciate your leaning into it and recognizing its place in our calls to ministry. My challenge for myself and for others is how not to get stuck in anger but tap into as fervor for disturbing what disturbs us. Also, now I have “Here I am Lord” stuck in my head 🙂

  5. Barbara, thank you for hosting our small group! You did a great job leading our mutually enriching discussion last night.

    The open-ended question I have to help you keep delving deeper into your call: what gives you hope about your capacity to be part of the solution? Because without hope, the people (and their vision) perish.

  6. Barbara, I love that your wise professor told you to “pay attention to what disturbs us, to what makes us cross our arms, cringe, and maybe even drives us to anger. She said that these are invitations to go deeper. These are signs of God calling us to go deeper.” I find this to be SO TRUE in my own life, and I’ve never REALLY recognized it until this moment. This is all part of the initial refusal of call, I think. Wow, wow. Thank you for sharing this. I’ll pass it on to all of my students now.

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