Water, Water, Everywhere

There are few things on Earth that hold gentleness and power, simplicity and meaning like water. Water covers 70% of our planet and has the power to kill and bring life. We enjoy hot springs, hot showers, hot baths. Yet it can also erode canyons into solid rock and bring rich nutrients to barren soil. The depths of the sea provide sustenance, but can also destroy boats and any land creatures who dare go out too far without proper precaution.

Water also has great purpose and meaning in our spiritual life. Throughout salvation history, God has used water to bring life and death. He brought forth water in desolate places and dried up vast springs and rivers. He divided the Red Sea for His people, the Israelites, to cross to safety, while that same sea killed the Egyptians when it crashed down upon them. It is in the saving waters of baptism that we are marked as one of God’s own and brought into the family of the Church. Tomorrow, we remember in particular Our Lady and some of the most famous waters in the world – that of Lourdes. A land once dry burst forth with springs at the presence of Our Lady. Now people flock to Lourdes to bathe in the waters and in the hope of receiving a miracle of healing. God uses water to bring cleansing and newness to our soiled, ill, and weary bodies and souls.

There are two “water” stories from the Gospels that keep coming to my mind at this time. The first is when Jesus sent His disciples on ahead of Him in a boat after a long day of being with the crowds. Jesus went to pray in solitude, then looked out on the water and saw His disciples struggling in a storm. Interestingly, Jesus waited until the fourth watch before walking out on the water toward them. His disciples saw Him and were frightened, so He got in the boat and calmed the sea.

The second is of another “walking on water” experience, this time with Peter. As many of you likely remember, the disciples were again in a boat and Jesus on the shore. Peter asked Jesus to call him over, which He did. Peter then hopped out of the boat and began to walk across the waves. However, he made the fatal mistake of lowering his eyes to the water that surrounded him and started to fear…and sink. But Jesus grabbed him at the last moment and brought him to safety.

So what does this have to do with my vocation? Well, over the last few weeks, it has become increasingly tempting for me to focus on the waves and lose sight of Him who has called me. These are tough economic times and, as an attorney, my business (and consequently income) has slowed to a mere trickle. God has opened up an opportunity for me to work part-time as a teaching assistant for a wonderful Catholic school, which is a tremendous experience and has brought many blessings, but in terms of paying down my debt, progress has stalled. I continue to be richly blessed by prayers and donations of friends and others who have given generously from their limited resources. I am humbled by words of encouragement and support and prayers from so many, especially the nuns at Corpus Christi Monastery, the Laboure Society, the Serra Club in Menlo Park, CA and many members of the Knights of Columbus…but the waves of total remaining debt still loom, especially as June 8th draws ever closer.

Today the novice mistress at Corpus Christi Monastery also reminded me of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes. From these seeds of support and prayer, we firmly believe God will bring forth abundant fruit. So, too, though the waves of doubt may threaten, we continue to believe God will be faithful to lead through the waters and the needed provision will come forward, like a spring from dry ground, to accomplish His will in His timing.

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