Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Meditation on the Falls

So over the weekend I went to one of my favorite spots to get out and away, to think and pray, to read and have a private little picnic: Great Falls National Park in Potomac, Maryland. It's just a few minutes from my house and it's easy to do for just a couple hours. It needn't take even a full afternoon. This time, while hiking on the Billy Goat Trail (which is pretty rocky and craggy, right along the river) I stopped for lunch, and then hiked back to the C & O Canal Trail, where I walked a few miles up to the Great Falls overlook. Staring at the raging waters, I was taken with them. They are not as big and majestic as Niagra Falls, to be sure - not by a longshot. But they are homely and they are ours. And whoever jumped in or was dropped into them would certainly be destroyed. The Great Falls are a lot like reality in that way. Our own little corner of reality is homely and we can take it for granted. It is beautiful, though, and if you take it seriously, will be fulfilling. If you treat reality, real life, the world, like a game for your own amusement by your own rules - you will almost certainly end by killing somebody.

Another thing I noted was that after all the turmoil of the Falls, further downstream, things turn more or less placid again. Life is like that. Things get hard sometimes. Real hard. You think they will break you. But you hang on, ask Someone for help, and in the end, he leads you to rest by still waters. There, you can eat your ham sandwich and read your book in a bit of peace for a while. So to speak. Eventually, we hope, He will lead us into an everlasting rest. But in the meantime, hold on tight. It'll probably be a wild ride.

I think a large part of the Christian life, at least for me, is about learning to trust God and go with the flow - to let Him steer the ship. By that I mean both to prioritize my decisions based on my best estimate of His will, and also to remember that whatever happens, He's still God and ultimately, He's still calling the shots. Since He's smarter than me and loves me more than I love myself, that's not an entirely bad thing. It's just bad for the ego. Or it may be good, depending how you look at it.

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