Patient Trust in the Slow Work of God

This past weekend, Ashley and I attended a silent treat at Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Dallas. Like every retreat I have been on, it began with apprehension and ended with a desire to not leave. The serene and peaceful setting, interaction with the Jesuits, lack of urban distractions, and quiet time with God were such gifts. 

Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House

One of the gifts that I received during the retreat is prayer. And not just time to pray, but new prayers to consider. In particular, the below prayer from Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin really spoke to me so I wanted to share it. 

Patient Trust in the Slow Work of God

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. 
We are all, quite naturally, 
impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new,
and yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability - 
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually - 
let them grow,
let them shape themselves, 
without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Two thoughts in particular grabbed my attention. First, the desire to skip "intermediate stages" and feeling "impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new." Impatience has long been a struggle of mine, and too often I find myself desiring to be in a time other than the present - perhaps recalling a fond memory or eagerly awaiting a future event. Second, the call to "accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete." Sometimes it feels as though I am straddling two worlds or lives, and that sense of "in-between-ness" can be unsettling, but I suppose that is part of being human. 

Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this prayer! It is good to know that I'm not alone in my struggle to live in the present moment.


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