The tradition at the Jesuit Retreat House is that the director who offers the reflection at Mass is responsible for leading the prayer at the following day’s staff meeting. Since I offered the reflection at Mass on Monday, I had responsibility for the prayer at our final staff meeting yesterday. (The retreat ends this morning with Mass and breakfast.)
After the opening song I selected, I read Stuart Kestenbaum’s poem Psalm, which I came across several years ago. Here is the poem:
The only psalm I had memorized was the 23rd
and now I find myself searching for the order
of the phrases knowing it ends with surely
goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever only I remember
seeing a new translation from the original Hebrew
and forever wasn’t forever but a long time
which is different from forever although
even a long time today would be
good enough for me even a minute entering
the House would be good enough for me,
even a hand on the door or dropping today’s
newspaper on the stoop or looking in the windows
that are reflecting this morning’s clouds in the first light.
I then invited the others to reflect on a time when when “a minute” or “a hand on the door” was enough for them, a situation where something small, momentary, was enough to give them deep consolation, to give them exactly what they needed from God. The sharing was deep and beautiful.
You might consider the same invitation. Reflect on a time when a minute…a hand on the door was “good enough” for you.
We leave the retreat house this morning, each of us in awe and gratitude for the graces given by God during these days.