I have heard you calling me

Here I am Lord. Today is Sunday and I am having an especially difficult time in fully realizing that fact. This is the first Sunday in several years that I find myself absent from the sanctuary and any active participation at the table of our Lord. This evening at the celebration of the Eucharist I will be but one among a dozen other retreatants experiencing the Lord’s Supper from the pew and that will be both different and an oddly strange experience for me. It most certainly will be a most humbling moment for which I can only thank God for granting me, but the worst of it will be missing my family, friends, and neighbors with whom I look forward to seeing every week.

If the Lord asks...

If the Lord asks…

This is day three of my retreat and I must admit to finding each day different than those that came before. Day one I heard God telling me that he was here beside me and to just relax, pray, and let him in. Day two, not a peep, zip, nada, nothing. It was as if he was telling me that he was giving me the silent retreatment and therefore to quit depending on him for everything and to try and figure out some things on my own. I can hear him chuckling at his own joke! Day three, today, he’s baaaaack and as usual he has let me have it full-knuckled. I’m still not sure what he has in mind but I have no doubt that over the remaining four days clarity will come, well perhaps things might become a bit less murky. I have no doubts at all that he is calling me.

After lunch I returned to my room with a song bouncing around in that largely empty space between my ears but could not recall its title or much of the lyrics, nothing much beyond the melody. So I asked the foremost authority on all things magically musical and my dear friend Nina for that information which she so graciously returned to me. The song is “Here I am Lord” by Dan Schutte.

Of course I immediately looked it up on my trusty laptop and found a recording along with the lyrics which I have been listening to now repeatedly for the past hour. I know. I know. I know it’s absolutely insane, but those words! It is a song we sing at church (in fact I was told it is the communion song today) and if you don’t know the lyrics, please look them up. It is an amazing song with a haunting melody, a conversation between the Lord and me (that is the plural me, that being each and every me, that means you and you and you…and also you over there in the corner trying to hide from him.) The refrain goes:

Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my Heart.

I don’t know about you but those words really speak to me. I still have tears in my eyes, I really do. Wow, oh dear God, I can’t bear it! I can only pray that you feel it too. To me they speak of a total commitment, a complete giving of self for his people, and of doing whatever God asks knowing that he is leading the way, taking me where I may not want to go and asking me to do what I do not wish to do. I may not know where or what or how but I do know why: because he has called and I must say yes. There really is nothing else, is there?

And yes Lord, I’m still listening. I will go Lord because I know that you are with me always.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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