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Appleton, WI

July 17: Day by Day with Father Bill

FRIDAY OF THE FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

What will bring you home, My beloved?
You stand before Me,
But your gaze does not meet Mine.
Your eyes are frantic, darting, searching.
I’m right here. Can’t you see Me?
I know another like you.
He was blind.
My Son touched him.
And he saw, but at first still opaquely.
I will do anything to have your eyes
Lock in on mine, widen slightly,
and listen in impulsive, destined wonder.
We would gaze at each other endlessly.
We will gaze at each other endlessly.
What will bring you home, My beloved?
Your attention settles so easily.
But not on Me.
What can I give you to bring you back?
If I give you the satisfaction you seek (as you seek it),
You won’t come home.
If I fill your longing
You will love, yes.
Because that’s what you do.
But not Me.
And I can’t let that happen to you.
Your heart finds beautiful icons
Pointing toward Me.
They awaken your deepest dreams.
But then you twist and turn and grasp.
And the icons become idols.
Remember:
“Idols are icons
You hold on to for too long.”
So, you will have to flounder.
Cursing Me
And crying out from constant tragedies
Of promises in life unmet.
You will feel alone,
Like all is lost.
In it all, I will hold myself back
By some miracle of discipline.
You can’t understand how much pain pierces Me.
But it’s the only way that I can love you
While continuing to give you freedom
To love Me.
Holding back,
It’s the only way to bring you home.
Thankfully, you are beginning to understand.
You’ve lived long enough to see the fruit of holy dissatisfaction.
Of broken promises becoming windows for grace.
I am not a puzzle.
I am a lover.
I will always give you what has the greatest possibility
of bringing you home.
Even if it means allowing My absence.
I promise
You will find what you seek
By My way.
That now, being sought your way,
You lose.
Death to life, I promise,
Will bring you home.
Come home, I am here.
Feel the caress of My hand
Through your hair,
And My kiss sweetly whetting your brow.
I know how much you miss it.
-By Chris Williams, S.J.

As I prayed this poem, I thought of the forgiving Father (Mother) waiting so faithfully and patiently for the prodigal son (daughter) to return and fall into His (Her) open arms. At certain times in our lives, we are that child.

Father Bill +

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