Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Personal Quest for God

“I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.” Song of Songs 3:2 (NIV)

When I was a child
I swung on the backyard swing 
stared into cloud shapes
searched for a glimpse of God

lit votives and prayed
at the Shrine of St. Anthony
tallied indulgences
purchased pamphlets
from the rack
in back of church
that seemed to promise answers

I frequented the large-as-life
Stations of the Cross
and knelt in a grotto
before a likeness
of the briefly interred Jesus
visited the Convent of the Missionary Sisters
of the Immaculate Conception
just a few blocks from my home
Considered (like many Catholic girls)
what life as a nun might be

read about Fatima and Lourdes
and lives of saints
studied my Catechism
cherished a glow-in-the-dark Nativity figure
given to students Christmastime
at Confraternity of Christian Doctrine class

attended Sunday Mass
at Saint Bonaventure’s
became a bride of Christ
at First Holy Communion
and a soldier of Christ
at Confirmation

As a teenager
I began to read Dostoyevsky
and awed by his brilliance
assumed my questions
would be answered by him

I grew up, married
became a mother
loved God
in a corner of my heart
and continued to read Dostoyevsky
not yet realizing
another’s experience with God
could not become my own

My confessor, Father Matthew
rightly perceived my need
Go, he told me, for Penance
to a Charismatic prayer gathering
Obediently, I went
uneasy about what I’d find
for I had heard stories…
but to my sweet surprise
before my very eyes
stood ordinary people
lifting their hands
loving God openly, joyfully
living holy lives

I opened God’s Word
and began to know Him
I talked with Him
Listened. Prayed
Soon I invited Him
to become my All in All
the marvelous fulfillment
of my most secret longing

God moved from His quiet corner
to overflow my heart
with limitless Love that is He
and we’ve embarked upon adventures
far, far beyond my imaginings
sometimes across the sea
sometimes without leaving
my chair

The quest has been worthwhile
for I’ve found the One
and only One
The Holy One
The Jesus One
this sated searching heart
forever loves

Maude Carolan

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