Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu
When I was discerning my vocation, I came across a photo of a peony with this quote from Lao Tzu. This profound sign of God’s presence to me on my spiritual journey reassured me that God would get me where I was meant to be at the right time – but in God’s own time. God’s timing is perfect, but it does not always seem that way. Sometimes God may be asking us to slow down.
I experienced this lesson recently during a recent prayer walk through an outdoor Marian Shrine at another monastic community. A rosary walk dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima featured a series of five sets of ten steps, with circular landings in between each set of steps. The steps led uphill to a sculpture of Our Lady of Fatima and the children to whom she appeared. Each step represented one Hail Mary, and each set of steps represented a decade of the rosary. Each circular landing represented the place where one meditates on the mysteries of the rosary.
The design of this rosary walk and its natural surroundings forced me to slow down as I prayed the rosary. As my mind and heart emptied of distractions, I was able to “hear” God speaking to me in the prayers, the mysteries of the rosary, and in the natural surroundings. For instance, across the lawn from the place where I stood and meditated on the birth of Jesus was a crucifix. The beautiful mystery of God’s breaking into the world as a baby joined with the mystery of that baby’s future death and resurrection. A powerful awareness of God’s love for me came in the stillness of a pause.
The prayer life here is one of the things that drew me to this Community. Guests often comment favorably on our prayer and liturgies. In a society and culture that moves too fast, we are all called to slow down and reflect on God’s love for us. I invite you to join us for Liturgy of the Hours or for Eucharist and listen as God speaks to the “ear of your heart.”
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.