The Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. The Sisters of Charity pray for all of the fathers we know on-line, through your prayer cards, all of our benefactors, and all your own fathers living and deceased, as well as those who have been father figures to you and to us in so many ways. We thank God particularly for those who have reflected the beauty and love of our Heavenly Father for us throughout our lives. May God bless each and every one. We remember them in our chapel especially today.
In today’s Gospel from Mark 4:35-41 we have an image of the Father’s love for us in the story of Jesus asleep in the fishing boat as the disciples battle a storm. These were professional fishermen– at least the apostles who were at the helm were professionals. For them to be so frightened, it must have been way more than a squall. So desperate were they that one of them came to wake Jesus up, but only after the boat was already taking on water. I can imagine the apostles poking one another saying, You wake Him up–He likes you more! Or, I’m not going to wake Him up. I’d rather go under right here with Him than let Him know I’m scared to death! Or, as Mark quotes one of them, Doesn’t He even care that we’re going to perish? Finally their voices reach Jesus and He wakes up, calms the sea, and asks them, Why are you terrified? Don’t you have faith in Me, yet?
How do you think they felt? Embarrassed? Utterly relieved (I don’t care if we got in trouble. At least He saved us!)? I don’t know for sure, but I think they heard in His voice the compassion of a father who is teaching his children not to fear anything because he will take care of them–of us–even when it seems hopeless. Jesus shows all of us in this episode the love that reaches out even when we think He’s sleeping, or even might have left our boat completely. Most of us have experienced that awful sense of feeling abandoned by God, in situations great and small, and it takes an immense faith to remember that we only have to call on Him and we will find Him. Well, we know that, but it sometimes happens that we think, This might be too big, even for God!
Sometimes the waves are so high, the troughs so deep, the sails of our lives so torn and frazzled that it can be hard to remember His care for us, or even believe in Him. Those storms can be terribly frightening. But Jesus is in our boat all the time. All. The. Time. And if you think He’s sleeping and you don’t want to wake Him, just whisper a prayer over the raging winds. You’ll be surprised. God will hear you. He sleeps with one eye open, and the ears of His Heart are always listening, good Father that He is.
Do you remember the story of the little boy caught in a burning house? The father drove up and saw his little boy leaning out the second floor window with smoke billowing all around him, crying piteously for his father. The Dad stood beneath the window and called up to him,
Jump, Jimmy! I’ll catch you. Jump!
The child called out, I can’t jump, Daddy, I can’t see you!
My little boy, his dad called up to him, don’t be afraid, because I can see you!
And jump, Jimmy did. And catch him, his father did.
Our God always sees us. He sees through the smoke–or the storm–of our sins, our futile efforts, our fears. And He won’t leave us to ourselves. We won’t perish, because He loves us beyond reason.
To tell you the truth, I think Jesus only pretended to be asleep because He wanted to hear his boys say that they needed Him, so He could show them how much He loved them.
Wish your Eternal Father a happy Father’s Day today. He’ll love to hear you say it.
God bless you.