I was recently asked to write a reflection for vocations week.
You can read a wee bit of my journey over the past year below + view full article here >> http://www.sosj.org.au/who-we-are/view_article.cfm?id=2906&loadref=390
As I began my Emmaus Journey (commonly known as Novitiate) in August (2015) I met with my new spiritual director; our eyes locked, her eyebrow raised and she wisely asked me “What are you so afraid of?”
“What are you so afraid of?” has been stuck to my consciousness like melting honey onto my daily fresh toast.
I knew that as I left New Zealand, gave up my design business and entered into the Emmaus Journey that I was walking a path with an unknown end point. This path is counter-cultural, it requires courage, trust and a kind of blind faith.
Fear is an emotion we all feel. But where does being afraid come from?
When I think about my spiritual relationship with God I remember that when I am really loving, living in the moment and trusting, that fear somehow takes a leave of absence. Fear seems to show up like an uninvited guest if I focus on how the future will go, if I plan, or view things solely from my perspective. If I lose trust and faith then fear is there as a swift uninvited replacement.
As I move into a deeper commitment I need to remember daily to press ‘Ctrl Z’ on fear; to step back, breathe in, trust in God, let go, live in the present, one day, one step, one bad joke at a time… If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans!
In this first year of my Emmaus Journey I give time for reading and reflection on scripture and spirituality. Also practicing an examen prayer daily really helps me to discern and know my spirit well. It is a way I check in daily to see if I need to Ctrl Z on fear. Laughter has been an essential element too, the ability to see the funny side of things always helps to push Ctrl Z!
On the March 19 we celebrated 150 years of the Sisters of St Joseph. “Listening to the heartbeat of the world” is the theme. Mary MacKillop would have most certainly felt a sense of fear, but thank God she listened to the need, listened to her spirit, to the heartbeat. She pushed Ctrl Z on fear; she trusted her discerning heart and providence guided her steps.
This journey is one that will most probably never make sense to my thinking mind.
But, the inner peace I feel flowing through me like an awe inspiring natural river is the ‘heartbeat’ that I listen to and trust as I walk this path one step, one day at a time…“Believe in the whisperings of God in your own heart” – Mary MacKillop
I hope and pray that we can live lives where unnecessary fear has a leave of absence. Please pray for me – I pray we will journey with embracing hearts, trust in God who is Love and push Ctrl Z on our fears together…
~ Jane Maisey
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone
~ Thomas Merton
Jane Maisey rsj