When I read today’s Gospel I thought of my internal storms. Just as the sea was stirred up by an outside force (wind), so too can I get easily stirred up by things outside myself. Someone will boss me around or say something hurtful and the storm of anger hits. Likewise, storm clouds start brewing when I am anxious about a new Jesuit assignment or an unexpected challenge in my ministry. When I become stirred up by anger or anxiety, the focus is solely on me. “How dare he say that to me!” Or “How can they expect me to do that?”
The more I focus on me, the more angry or anxious I become. However, in the middle of my stirred up storm, I often hear a voice. It is a voice of reason that speaks gently to me and says, “relax, don’t say that back” or “it will all work out, it always does.” When I choose not to listen to that voice of reason, it is like rowing into the wind—I expend a lot of energy to go a short distance. However, when I do listen I receive a sense of calm. The disciples heard Jesus in the midst of the storm say, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” So may we hear Jesus call to us, and may we realize how quick and peaceful the journey can be with him.
As you journey through this day, what storms are you aware of that can be stirred up in you? What keeps you from hearing a calming voice of reason? Pray for the grace to hear Jesus’ invitation to be calm.
—Br. Pat Douglas, S.J, is Vocation Promoter for the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus and a residence hall chaplain at Creighton University, Omaha, NE. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here.