“We pray that the Lord may help us to produce His light in ourselves, even in dark days, so that we might be light for others, illuminating the world and life in this world.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Recently, I had one of those days that just seemed to build, and not in a good way. It began with a sleepless night and compounded with disappointment upon frustration, unexpected issues on top of unnecessary annoyances. "This is not where God wants me to be," I began to think to myself and the narrative continued to gain momentum through every interaction. A last minute, end of the day meeting went long causing to me to miss dinner with my family and an evening activity I had promised to my children. So of course, I did what any great father would do after a long day and missing a promise, I took my aggravation out on the kids. I was short, impatient and distracted. In my quintessential Dan Cellucci rant to my wife recapping the day’s disasters, I repeated my earlier thought. "Did you ask Him?" Tricia said gently. "Ask who what?" I snapped back. Holding back the look I know she wanted to give me in that moment, she calmly persisted, "You keep telling me what the Lord wants and doesn’t want. Have you asked Him? You’re talking a lot about Him. I’m wondering if you’ve talked to Him today." My silence said it all. And there, in the darkness of our living room, in the darkness of my day, we prayed out loud and asked the Lord for what He wanted us to know.
Not surprisingly my sleep improved and while the new day brought no quick fixes or perfect resolutions, I had peace. How often do I talk about God versus talking to Him? With even the best intentions, how ready am I to make my own judgments the Lord’s judgments without really even asking? In my desire to check things off my list or process all the things that may come at me in a day, do I really place them in front of Him or assume what’s easiest to understand? The difference can be night and day.