I stood in the bookstore, running my hands over book covers and flipping through those with the most interesting titles. All of them I put down until I opened The Tale of Despereaux. “Come closer,” author Kate DiCamillo wrote on the first page, “I am telling you a story.” I brought the book closer and it was as if she was whispering to me and only me.
I have the same feeling when I read today’s Gospel. “Pay attention to what I am telling you,” Jesus says to His disciples, and I imagine their circle pressing closer together to focus and hear. (See Luke 9:44.) “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,” He continues. Luke tells us the disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant, and I wonder: how could they have? How could they have ever imagined the Last Supper, the crucifixion, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost?
Often I feel like the Lord is saying to me, Pay attention to what I am telling you, but just like the disciples I don’t understand in that moment. If my life is a story that God is writing, sometimes the plot feels stagnant, sometimes it’s an exhilarating page-turner, and sometimes it’s a tear-jerker. I try to take in the details or search for a theme, but it feels like the meaning is being hidden from me.
Though the disciples knew Jesus was telling them something important, they didn't understand because they did not yet have the full story. When seasons, chapters, or adventures in the story of my life are complete, I, too, can see God’s Hand in it all.
I just have to wait for His Spirit to reveal it in His perfect time.
Learn more about what the Catechism has to say about contemplative prayer here.
Bonnie Engstrom is a writer, baker, speaker, and homemaker. She lives with her husband and eight children in Illinois. Bonnie is the author of "61 Minutes to a Miracle" which tells the story of her son's miracle that was approved by Pope Francis for the beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen. She likes to bake, putz about the yard, and tell her kids to tidy the house. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of the Blessed Conversations Mystery: Believe study found here.