Friday, September 23, 2011

Why Do You Keep Me So Far Away?

September 23, 2011

Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, priest

By Melanie Rigney

Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give you peace, says the Lord of hosts! (Haggai 2:9)

For you, O God, are my strength. Why do you keep me so far away? (Psalms 43:2)

(Jesus) said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22)


God, give me the courage to let You in.


A few weeks ago, my pastor gave a homily that included something like this: “If you haven’t heard the voice of God, you’re not listening.”

I felt my face go red and my heart rate jump. I was convicted, as in guilty, and convicted, as in the vernacular of my evangelical Protestant friends, by God’s love and His patience and willingness to keep talking until we listen.

A situation had been on my mind for about three months. It was a situation I’d been in before, one with beautiful memories, but not one for the person I am today. All the signs were there that it wasn’t in God’s plan for me: I was mentally sapped. I couldn’t talk with anyone, including Him, about it. I spent time making pro and con lists for exiting the situation, but did nothing to end it. In short, I was hearing but not listening. But something clicked when I heard my pastor’s wise words. Things were resolved within an hour after Mass… not without some sadness, but resolved, and with some relief.

We’ve all been in those places, whether they’re caused by a chemical addiction, a longtime pattern of behavior, or a desire to have a role in someone else’s life that just isn’t possible. We cling to dreams and what-ifs and maybes and if-onlies. But the thing is, God doesn’t deal in those things. He desires us to focus on what is most pleasing to Him and what is best for ourselves and our neighbors now, not what was best yesterday or what might be best tomorrow or the next day or the next year.

As we’re reminded in today’s Gospel, Jesus did the suffering for us. And through that suffering and our baptism, we are redeemed. God is our strength, our safe haven, our place of true peace. We just need to stay close enough to Him that we can listen.


The 133rd Women’s Cursillo Weekend for the Diocese of Arlington began Thursday night at the San Damiano Spirituality Center in White Post. Please offer palanca as you go about your day—and consider joining our community for mananita Sunday morning and the closing in the afternoon. See for details.