I have returned from my week of silence and solitude, peace and prayer. There was a great number of things on my mind that I had to clear out, sort out, and clean up. It was a great week where I needed to face my trials, fears, and future - experienced all through tears, prayers, meditation, and incredible silence. I cannot express enough thanks for all of you who were praying for me during the week. Let me assure you, I felt your presence with me, and I am truly blessed to have your support. (I also felt the presence of a great number of deer who surrounded my hermitage everyday!)
So now that I am back, I continue my Lenten journey with a fervor to take action. It is a feeling as if I were to cry out, "I have arrived! Now, let's go make a difference in the world!"
But as I prepare to start anew, there is one that is stepping down from his ministry. After so many years of faith-filled service, Pope Benedict XVI is in his final days as our church leader. Let us all keep him in our prayers as he begins his next calling. And we also pray for those who will be meeting to pray and choose our next pope. May we pray together this prayer that was used before session of the Second Vatican Council:
We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness, but aware that we gather in your name. Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts. Give us light and strength to know your will, to make it our own, and to live it in our lives. Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son. You desire justice for all; enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favor. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true. As we gather in your name, may we temper justice with love, so that all our discussions and reflections may be pleasing to you, and earn the reward promised to good and faithful servants. We ask this of You who live and reign with the Father and the Son, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.