A Word in Season
On Bended Knee
Here are some lessons I've learned in those fallow seasons.
Sometimes God needs us to rest for a while before he sends us elsewhere. If we are restless when we should be resting, chances are we are not paying attention to the business of being fallow ground, and this is exactly what we need. Fallow fields are neither empty nor useless, they are being saved from being depleted of their essential nutrients, so they can be fruitful in the coming season. Learn to seek calm, and soak up the sunlight of this quiet season. This is true recreation.
Sometimes God wants us to learn to be content with what is, rather than to pine for what is not. This fosters a sense of detachment from things, so that a stronger attachment to God can take place. Easy to say, harder to do, especially for do-ers. Start by making a list of what you have rather than what you lack. Find the smallest, most common thing you can be grateful for, and find delight in it. Think of a face that you love. You get the idea. Now thank God for your pain and offer it to him for that face. This is true relinquishment.
Finally, sometimes the physical healing we need is just the first step toward a deeper inner healing, and one that is more lasting. Sometimes we ignore the soul hurt until some body hurt forces us to the sidelines. Sometimes the "breaks" we need most are the ones that reveal our own inner brokenness and hurts, so that we are can be idle long enough for the Lord to be "near to the brokenhearted" (Psalm 34:18). There he can do his most important work in us. Don't ignore it any longer. Kneel with the heart. Lean in to Christ, like John, the beloved disciple, did at the Last Supper (John 13:23,25). Then lean on Eucharist. This is true recollection.
Only in God's economy could an injury, or a setback, become our ultimate gain. Only in God's eyes could the kneeling of the heart—a kneel nobody else sees—be our closest communion, our bountiful blessing, our deepest heal.
As Christian experience attests especially in prayer, the more docile we are to the promptings of grace, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials...
Almighty and merciful God,
in your goodness take away from us all that is harmful,
so that, made ready both in mind and body,
we may freely accomplish your will.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1742)
Pat Gohn is a Catholic writer, speaker, and the host of the Among Women Podcast and blog. Her book Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood is published by Ave Maria Press. Subscribe to “A Word in Season” via email or RSS.