For about a year now, I’ve kept a faith journal. I write prayers, reflect on mass, and take notes on scripture. One of the best things the journal has done is show me my heart. From the pages, I can tell how long it’s been since I’ve spent time with my bible. I can tell whether I’m really engaging in the mass and thinking on it. For a while, my struggles stared back at me from the blank page.

Every Sunday, I fill at least a page with questions, thoughts, or quotes from Sunday’s readings and homily. This Sunday, I got two lines:

What happened to the three wise men?

and

We must learn to listen to the silence.

A little background. School started back the 17th. Even though I have a great TA position in the college and I’m only a semester away from graduating, I’ve dreaded it. So much so that I spent the night before school started crying. For the last month, I’d been so lucky to explore the world with my family, to write for Ski New Mexico, and in ten days I’d written 10,000 words of a novel. I felt free, creative, and reinvigorated.

There’s nothing that can crush the vigor out of someone quite like 12 hours of graduate coursework. I’ve been trying so hard to remind myself that I’m so lucky to have my assistantship and that I don’t have long left, but I’m struggling. I’m going to be 100% honest because honesty is one of my values.

I feel lonely. I feel sad. I feel like I have no time to invest in the things I really want to do.

Sadness has a way of either forcing you closer to God or you put up so many barriers to protect yourself from your own emotions that you accidentally shut out God. Well, if my journal is anything to judge by, that’s what I did.

On Wednesday night, I went to RCIA with our friend, Jay. The topic of the lesson was “devotions” and one of the first things we did was walk into the sanctuary, sans electronic devices, pencil and paper, or any distractions, and Father Kerry put the host into the Monstrance, and we sat in the presence of God while he read the beatitudes.

 

So I prayed. I asked God to give me a message. I asked for him to give me peace. I prayed for Jay and for Ty . And, of course, I cried. Like a baby. Because you know what I heard?

Nothing.

And you know why I’m crying?

Because of what I wrote in my journal:

We must learn to listen to the silence.

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