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.

Waiting for the Summer

Earlier today, a coworker complained about the weather and I chimed in, "I know. I really, really hate the winter. I just hate it." A moment later I felt a pang of guilt. Do I really hate part of what God has created?

Today's daytime prayer, from the Liturgy of the Hours, includes Psalm 74. The psalm is a harrowing lament in which the Psalmist cries out to God for mercy as enemies are destroying his entire civilization. The Psalmist recounts to God all the various atrocities crashing upon His people. Toward the middle of the second half, the Psalmist pauses, as if to remind himself more than to remind God, "Yours is the day and yours is the night. It was you who appointed the light and the sun: it was you who fixed the bounds of the earth: you who made both summer and winter."

With further reflection, and speaking with a friend over lunch, it occurs to me that this time in life is turning out to be a real period of waiting. Waiting for God to act is never easy. That's why we so rarely do it, I think. The Israelites were watching their civilization be torn down all around them by violent invaders; I am only flummoxed by the bureaucracy of the graduate school I hope to attend. The Israelites were desperately hoping for salvation; I am only waiting to hear about a career move, or a living situation. The Israelites were being murdered and plundered in their own streets; I am only receiving a premium increase on my car insurance. In perspective, my situation isn't so bad as theirs, but I think the same basic lesson applies.

This time is appointed by God for His purposes in my life. It might feel like my life is stuck and going nowhere, but many seeds lay dormant in the winter that sprout in the spring. Provided one has taken all the steps and undertaken all the actions that one prudently can, all that is left to do is to wait. I'll do well to remember that God made the wintertimes of life as well. Maybe it's best to curl up by a fire, dig into prayer, and wait for the wintertimes of life to pass.

Our Lady of the Snows, pray for us.

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