Getting Out of the Way
I spent this past weekend on retreat and it was, in a word, spectacular. I never feel more connected to Peter, James, and John on Mt. Tabor than I do when I’m on retreat; are You sure I can’t just build a tent and stay here forever with You, Lord?
But the whole point of going away with Jesus is to return to our lives with a new perspective and deeper intimacy with Him.
Jesus rarely does what I expect on retreats. I used to prepare with a list of topics to cover – but we’ve been through this enough times for me to know that He’s always got something bigger up His sleeve. And this weekend was no exception.
The theme of the retreat was joy, and the talks were superb (I’ll share links once I have them!). In his final talk, Fr. Dan Leary talked about impediments to joy. Chief among them is anxiety, especially the anxiety of wondering if we are doing the Will of the Lord.
Fr. Dan used an example to illustrate his point: he spent many years working at an orphanage in Mexico, and often the younger girls would say to him, “I want to be tall and beautiful, like my older sister.” And Fr. Dan would respond, “Wonderful – eat well, be yourself, and God will do the rest. Just let it happen. And don’t get in the way!”
His point was that, like the natural change that occurs as a child grows up, God’s Will will always be done – whether or not we are in the way. But if we get in the way, there’s often much more pain, anxiety, and fear involved. If instead, we trust that He is working in His perfect timing and that every day we are doing our best to stay close to Him and be obedient to His promptings, we cannot miss His Will.
God loves us so, so much. His plans are greater than anything we could ever imagine. The enemy knows that, and he also knows how powerful, peaceful, and strong we would be if we really believed that with our whole hearts, so he’s always working to make us doubt that truth. But God has already won the battle, so we do not need to be afraid.
Let us pray: Jesus, please grant me the grace to allow You to work in my life. Please also help me to stay out of your way! Amen.
Some snaps from the Malvern Retreat Center- so beautiful!
Fr. Mike’s homily from this week is also a phenomenal resource on this topic! I highly recommend you give it a listen, here.
What we’re loving lately:
Oops I did it again
- Y’all I found another icon on my retreat that PERFECTLY completes my set!! I’ve had the Holy Family icon for a year, and got the Good Shepherd icon last week – so when I saw this Holy Family farm icon, I just knew it had to be mine!! I love that they’re all slightly different styles but tell such a beautiful story. If you have ideas for how to display them (the first is on a wood block, and the second two are 8×10 prints) please lmk!
- Yes, this may have been inspired by the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce situation, but I watched the Kelce brothers documentary this past week and wept three times. It’s such a beautiful story of family, hard work, and passion. The language is a bit wild BUT I still highly recommend it!
Announcing our Fall Book Club! He Leadeth Me
- We’re officially doing it: a SundayMonday book club!! I couldn’t think of a better book to choose than this one. It’s the true story of Fr. Ciszek, who spent almost 20 years imprisoned in Russia. It’s his story, but filled with incredible wisdom that’s so applicable to anyone who finds themselves asking the hard questions in life: “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “I wish that XYZ were different, then I’d be happy.” It’s an incredible book about God’s Will in the present moment!
- We’ll likely be doing two Zoom book discussions (in person if you’re in the DC area!) on November 12 (ch. 1-10) and December 10 (ch.11-end!)! Please get the book and sign up here so I have a sense of who is joining us 🙂
A little giggle
- I had a bit of a battle with my landlord this week, and a friend sent me this meme that had me in stitches for 10 minutes… if you’ve been there, you know!
- For peace in Israel
- For a loved one walking through a miscarriage
- For those praying for their vocation
- For friends praying to conceive!
- For Fr. Swink’s healing
If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week‘s newsletter!
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.