Sunday, April 29, 2007

My sheep hear my voice.

With three sisters out of town and one sick in bed, we were a very small group this morning. And we had a new celebrant to "break in", (not that our mass is different from other settings... that's one of the beauties of a standard prayer book.) Still, a new priest likes to walk through the service beforehand, to be made aware of small nuances, and every congregation has them.

She had done her homework. Her homily covered all three readings, the psalm, and the fact that if it were not Sunday, it would be the feast day of Catherine of Siena. As I've mentioned before, one of the benefits of community that I so appreciate, is hearing new voices proclaim the Gospel on Sunday morning. Sometimes I hang on every word; sometimes a hymn will reinforce what's just been said; sometimes a turn of phrase will interrupt time and my mind will wander.

In today's Gospel (John 10: 22-30) Jesus is asked (once again) to tell plainly if he is the Messiah. And once again, he says "I have told you and you do not believe." This time he goes on to say the reason you don't believe is because you aren't my sheep. "My sheep hear my voice."

Time stopped. My mind wandered... to an old Bonnie Rait song:
All at once I hear your voice, and time just slips away.
Nothing they can say can hold me here.
Take me where I only feel the wind across my face.
Let me know there's some place left for me.
Waiting there for me...

That chorus (taken out of its song context) speaks vividly of what it means to hear HIs voice. I used to get a catch in my throat every time I heard it... I would sing along with Bonnie, tears streaming down my face. I thought I was missing a human voice, maybe my dad or an old boyfriend, lover, husband... I could never quite put my finger on who it was. But the longing was real, the tears a tangible indication I was on to something bigger than I could imagine.

The other day a friend expressed his concern/opinion about my becoming a life-professed sister. He said something to the effect: "you could be doing so much more out in the world... the convent is too confining for someone with your creativity."

I was out in the world. I did plenty with my creativity. I still do, I think. The medium for creativity may take a different form now, but that form is as valid as the other forms were. It's part of the discernment process... to understand the differences and still find the unity within all the expressions. My decision will rest more with whether I hear the voice amidst all the other voices... the one that makes time just slip away.

1 comment:

HeyJules said...


Best post I read all weekend. God bless...