Reflections from the Soul Care Retreat . . .

“Francis de Sales, a seventeenth-century priest and writer, addressed anxiety in his Introduction to the Devout Life: ‘Unresting anxiety is the greatest evil which can happen to the soul, sin only excepted.’ The anxious heart, in its flailings, loses its hold on whatever graces God has bestowed upon it, and is sapped of the strength ‘to resist the temptations of the Evil One, who is all the more ready to fish . . . in troubled waters.’ De Sale’s antidote to anxiety is twofold, half positive, half negative: do pray, and do not do anything that might actually address the object of your anxiety. ‘When you are conscious that you are growing anxious, commend yourself to God, and resolve steadfastly not to take any steps whatever to obtain the result you desire, until your disturbed state of mind is altogether quieted. . .’

“Slowly, I am beginning to see what this anxiety is about, to see its lineaments: it has something to do with being left alone to handle a situation I am not competent to handle; it has something to do with being known and unknown, with the sense that I go through life hidden, masked.” (from Still,by Lauren F. Winner)




We were weary when He took us

up the mountain, and,

to tell the truth,

we didn’t want

to pray.


We thought well enough

of ourselves,

being singled out,


Our minds were

full of



He began to

pray, and we, unlistening,

thinking of

the climb, our weariness,

and all the people waiting

down below for miracles,

we slept.


But He, awake,

in prayer became

even more






He talked with two

who, like Him,

had led a people full

of noise.

They spoke

of exodus

and death.

They spoke of glory,

and they shone.


It was then

we awoke.


Our sleep-slogged

senses staggered

at the splendor—

we were wholly




I fell back on what

I knew.

In my fear, I had

to do.


Let us build for You,

I said,

and even as the words

flew, I saw plain

my pride,


at the weight of this glory.


His look, then,

so full of love

and a knowing

I did not understand.

I would see this look again


and it would break me.


The cloud came

quickly, unexpected,

all my fears silenced.

We sat stilled,



Absent to all but


His Presence.


We waited.




Then the voice.

He is My



is the





The crushing brilliance

of His voice

held me, and to it

I will hold




I saw only



His was not

the only


that day.

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