“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace”—that was my constant, earnest prayer for many years as I struggled to deal with some of the people I encountered in my work and personal life.
Many subsequent experiences of surprising and amazing grace led me to call myself “God’s spoiled brat”. I was unexpectedly molded into a peacemaker—in my job, in my family, in my personal relationships—everywhere. Only a spoiled brat could be the constant recipient of so much undeserved answered prayer. I ask myself: why I was so surprised; did I not expect my prayers to be answered?
Joseph’s response in today’s Gospel gives me some insight. What he received through God’s emissary was clarity and understanding. Joseph listened, heard, accepted what he heard, and responded with a “yes,” because he trusted and believed that what he was hearing was true. For me there was no emissary, no angel, no one to say to me, “This is what God wants to do in you,” and why (or so I thought).But, if I am truly honest with myself, I can say I trusted my prayer would be answered in God’s own time and way. And what I’ve come to understand is that there, indeed, was a wee, small voice that I couldn’t hear with my worldly ears; yet it was preparing, inviting, and guiding me to my “yes.”
We all are being invited to open our ears and hearts to listen and hear God’s call to us through whomever or whatever he chooses to use as his emissary. The Triune Spirit that resides within calls to us in quiet, sweet, and dulcet tones hoping we will respond with “yes” to what God wants to do in us and with us.
- Can you hear a voice calling you or guiding you somewhere or to something?
- Do you trust what you hear?
DiAnne Patterson Schultz is a widowed mother and grandmother residing in Detroit, Michigan, who holds master of arts degrees in public administration and pastoral ministry. Retired from long careers in both public and non-profit sectors, DiAnne is trained in Ignatian Spirituality, serving as a spiritual companion to several. In addition to accompanying people on their spiritual journeys and facilitating spiritual formation activities, Ms. Schultz shares her gifts as a parishioner at Gesu Church in Detroit; she volunteers and serves as a board member of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI, as well as the Dominican Center-Spirituality for Mission, and All Saints Literacy Center in Detroit, MI.