We, like the disciples, will be gripped in life’s unpredictable storms

By BISHOP DAVID MCGOUGH on The Catholic Herald.

Nineteenth Sunday of the Year, 1 Kings 19.9 & 11-13; Romans 9: 1-5; Matthew 14: 22-33 (Year A)


DownloadedFile‘My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word. My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak. Let the watchman count on daybreak, and Israel on the Lord.”

The Psalmist’s prayer expresses a universal longing for the reassurance of God’s presence. Whilst we share his longing, it is more challenging to share his assurance that, as the watchman is assured of the dawn, so are we assured of God’s presence. As we remember the appalling desolation of the First World War, we are reminded of the fragility of human hope. Then, as now, there will be times when we struggle to cling to God’s presence in life’s unfolding circumstances.

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5 Responses to We, like the disciples, will be gripped in life’s unpredictable storms

  1. John says:

    Reading this post, and calling to mind the Homily at Church today about the Wise and Foolish Virgins, and how life’s “Noise” can take us away from hearing the word of God, and it follows, the Will of God; makes me realize how wonderful it can be when we do eventually shut out the noise and listen with a calm Heart and Open Soul to what Our Lord has to say without clouding the issue with our own thoughts and dreams.
    For many years I have been in a spiritual wilderness, fumbling around in the dark, looking for something but not knowing what. Knowing that God was somewhere around, prodding me occasionally with a big stick, causing me to feel pangs of guilt about what I was doing, or was not doing, or should be doing, but in feeling these prods, choosing instead to once again to lose myself in the “white Noise” of everyday life, but secretly feeling the pain of a son estranged from his parents.
    As a ( I would like to think ) one-time devout Christian who had become disillusioned and disappointed with what life was throwing at him, for a time, and unfulfillment in my Anglicanism, I chose to walk a more secular path, believing I would find what I was looking for elsewhere, but deep down I knew I could never un know what I already knew; And that was that I knew of God and God knew me – Yet I could no longer reconcile my life with him. I was no longer able to reach him through my church or the sacrament of the Eucharist where I frequently assisted, but I always felt he was trying to reach me, and I longed for the days when I could be with him in his sanctuary, but felt that in my own church those days had gone and I had lost him
    It is to me particularly strange in the way that God has chosen to “make” me listen. We can hear him in so many different ways, not necessarily as a voice, but he can speak to us through an object, through music, through poetry, through sadness or through another person, and sometimes the message is too loud to ignore, and sometimes the message is so strong it comes at us in all directions, and when we stop to listen it can be so clear and unequivocal, and give such a sense of joy that we no longer wish to turn away from it and he gives us the answer.
    My story is too long to recount, but I am happy to say Our Lord has heard my subliminal calls, and knowing my needs – the “longing for the reassurance of God’s presence”, has in so many ways over this past few months taken me on a surprising journey of wonderment, happiness and joy, and shown me so much beauty; and has set me on a new path to what I now know to be the place I should have always been.
    Only today at the end of the Mass I attended at Ss Peter, Paul, and Philomena, ( an ICRSP ) church I said to the friend who accompanied me there, how wonderful it was to have found a place where I truly felt at home, and where I belonged after 57 years of searching, and where I felt I was with God and, for such a massive step for an Anglican, what an easy transition it was, given submission to Our Lord to follow his path to the door of that church. We just need to be still, open our Hearts to God and we will receive his messages loud and clear as I have done, and in acting upon them find for the first time in many years, that illusive thing called peace.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    “Reading this post, and calling to mind the Homily at Church today about the Wise and Foolish Virgins…”

    John, reading those words, I wondered why your priest’s homily would focus on the Wise and Foolish Virgins, since the Gospel reading today (your yesterday) was not from Matt. 25:1-13, but from Matt. 14: 22-33, about Jesus walking on the sea. The Wise and Foolish Virgins parable hasn’t been featured in the Lectionary since the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) on November 6th, 2011, and won’t be repeated until 2017, since the 32nd Sunday this year A (November 9th) centres on the Lateran Basilica dedication reading from Jn. 2:13-22.

    I guess there’s no canonical law saying a priest can’t preach on whatever he likes.

    Anyway, tomorrow (your today) is the 124th anniversary of the death of Blessed John Henry Newman. ‘Newman’ is my confirmation name. A good day for me to try once again fulfilling my vow of temporary silence; but being a born again Eeyore-like pessimist, I doubt that I’ll succeed ツ


  3. john says:

    @johnhenry..I still need to get to grips with the lectionary,and need to buy myself a good English/Latin Missal that I can study at home. At the moment I am just using the small Mass. Book handed out at the door, but I need to work out which is the best one to buy then I can make my notations in it to help me from getting lost; although it is getting better, but I always found it helpful to read the collects,Epistle,and Gospel before going to church and now that it is all in Latin it’s even more important (for me at any rate) Interesting what you said about the reading though.I have no idea why there is an anomaly.Curious.


  4. mmvc says:

    JH and John, the Mass was in honour of St Philomena who is one of the patron saints of the Dome of Home and who is commemorated in the old calendar today, 11th August. Hence the Gospel of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.


  5. John says:

    Thanks mmvc !!. I knew you would know !! 🙂


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