Lasha Morningstar

WE ARE ONE

October 20, 2014

Troubles. So many they don't bear counting. Some are minor, some major. It's not only the individual upsets. It's the ones that blare out of the radio on the way home, the ones in the secular papers.

Three a.m. became the usual wakeup time.

Then a glimmer of change happened. It surprised me. I certainly didn't expect any relief from this ongoing strife.

It was during a half hour of adoration, a tear ran own my cheek as I told Jesus of a cruelty that was happening and of feeling trapped. Describing what happened next is hard. It is as though a wave of calmness washed over one side of my body and I listened to words in my mind (certainly not mine) that showed a pathway towards a resolution.

A DOOR OPENS

Now this was no miracle. But it certainly opened a door that gave me back some power, showed me who to reach out to. And I did.

It gave me a nudge, in fact it was a strong slam of guilt, of not following Pope Francis's urging to pray – a lot.

It's too easy to get out of the habit of praying, especially when you forget to listen when you do talk to God, Jesus, Immaculate Lady Undoer of Knots. I also find that sometimes I get in the way of heavenly guidance.

That's when I cringe and realize I have not been listening.

Getting back into the habit of praying and listening is easier than I thought it would be. Which is not to say I don't stumble sometimes. But I think I have angelic help. They remind me when it is prayer time – sometimes within minutes – and I fly to church or the upstairs chapel pew.

CRUELTY AND LOSS

One of the hardest lessons the angels have had to hash out with me is how to handle cruelty. It is almost as though they take me through steps – this is when I am listening – and I either take action or let it go.

Another problem they tackle with me is loss. Again, they let me remember what happened, pose questions about why I think it happened. And then there is usually silence. If I have done my work well and been brave and honest, the grief softens. It doesn't go away, but the barbed edge is smoothed out.

Yes, adoration is a womb of sanctity.

But I also "cheat." I carry prayer cards in my pocket night and day, weekdays and weekends. When I encounter a pang of anguish, out come the cards.

OVER AND OVER

To tell the truth, I usually have to read them several times over. The first time, I am usually too upset to absorb what the words are saying. The second is better. If it's a thumper of a problem, then it's read – slowly – for a third or even fourth time.

Sometimes nothing happens. I feel bereft, alone, abandoned.

Yes, as has been said by so many so many times, it is as if to whomever we are praying does not hear us, is not there, or worse still does not care. (That is my fear taking over.)

The words "In God's time" haunt me. So I soldier on, pulling my cards out of my pocket even during the day for a quick read.

When crisis time comes, I go to my spiritual advisor and pour my heart and soul out to him. He listens. Shakes his head. Says, "There's nothing I can do."

I always say "Please pray for me Father."

He heartily agrees.

As I walk away, I smile to myself; there I go again, looking for prayer – this time a priest's prayer – for help.

ILLEGIBLE PRAYER CARDS

Those prayer cards in my pocket are bent so much, some of the words are illegible. But I know them by memory.

Yes, I'll keep my prayer practice in order.

But perhaps what I have learned from the guidance and silences is that courage is what is needed in my life. Courage to act. Courage to go my own path. Courage to search for the means and ways to live my life full of joy, service to those who need my help, time out for fun.

One thing that surprised me was when I would be guided even for the smallest matter like finding my glasses, I would say out loud "Thank you." The first time surprised me. Now it is a comfortable reaction.

Jesus and I have a relationship. And that's my blessing from prayer.

(Lasha Morningstar lasha@wcr.ab.ca)