The answer to many prayers

I was doing some study on Psalm 5 this morning and came across this comment by Amy Carmichael on verse 3:

“’And will look up’, will keep watch, like Habakkuk on his watch-tower.  Have you ever found that your Father has answered a forgotten prayer?  I have, and I always feel so ashamed; it is so rude to forget.  A ‘Prayer-and-Answer Notebook’ helps one to remember.  It is evidence, which even the devil cannot dispute, of traffic with Heaven.  It kindles love; ‘I love the Lord because He hath heard’ (Ps 116.1).  How often we have had cause to say that.  My first note-book turned up among some old papers lately.  To read the notes was like finding sprays of verbena between the leaves of a book; you know how astonishingly fragrant they can be.  There was one little sentence that belonged to a rainy Sunday morning when I was, I suppose, about ten, so that leaf was about sixty years old, but it might have been only just picked, for as I read the words I remembered every detail of that prayer and that answer.

“If any of you keep such a book do not forget that the answer to many prayers is ‘Wait’, or sometimes, ‘No, not that, but something else, which, when you see Me, you will know was a far better thing.’”

Each to his calling

Everyone should follow his calling and carry out his work according to his God-given gifts and capacities.  The same breath is blown into flute, cornet and bagpipe, but different music is produced according to the different instruments.  In the same way the one Spirit works in us, God’s children but different results are produced, and God is glorified through them according to each one’s temperaments and personality.  (Sadhu Sundar Singh)

Infinite calm

I love to know and read people who really know the essence of life.  They feed my soul.  Dom Augustin Guillerand is one of these.  His words are worth chewing on:

“This is the secret of peace, after committing a fault.  What is past is past.  And if we accept the consequences, while bracing our will, we can be sure that God will know how to draw glory even from our faults.  Not to be downcast after committing a fault is one of the marks of true sanctity, for the saint knows how to find God in everything, in spite of human appearances.  Once your will is sincerely “good,’ then don’t worry . . .

“In all that we do, and at every moment, God has ordained an exact balance between what we have to do and the necessary strength to do it; and this we call grace.  Our part is to bring ourselves into line with grace.

“God uses all the horrors of this world for an infinitely perfect end, and always with an infinite calm.  It is part of his plan that we should feel the blows and experience the wounds of life; but more than anything else he wants us to dominate them by virtues of faith, hope, and charity, and so live on his level.  It is these latter which will raise us up to him, and then we shall share in his calm, and in the highest part of our being.”   (Dom Augustin Guillerand, O.Cart.)

All times are in His hands

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I don’t put my trust in the weather; I put my trust in God.  All times are in His hands.  We have had weeks of dryness, but even these speak to us of Him.  This morning in Morning Prayer, we prayed these lines from Psalm 63: “My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water.”  May that be true of us; may we pine for Him, long for Him, like a dry, weary land without water.

Yet I took heart as we prayed the Canticle from Daniel this morning: “Cold and chill, bless the Lord.  Dew and rain, bless the Lord.”  All times are in His hands.

And I did not know it.

In Genesis 28, Jacob, after his dream of the ladder, says a very profound thing: “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know it.”  How many of us do not recognize that the Lord is in the very places of our lives.  We wonder: “Where are You?”  Or we shout: “Where are You?”  And like Jacob, we fail to see that He is surely in this place.

In a marvelous little book, Into Your Hands, Father, Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen writes:

“There is not a single moment when God is not communicating himself to us.  Most of what occurs in our lives seems to happen accidentally and at random.  Now and then God reveals his presence. At times we see the thread and we thank him, but he is always there; everything speaks of him.” There is an unbroken continuity in God’s action.  ‘He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep’ (Ps 121.3-4).  We sleep for the most part.  Yes, our faith sleeps.  We do not notice anything extraordinary.  In reality, everything is extraordinary.”

May God bless each of you as you go about your extraordinary days!