"Nobody escapes their shadow by running faster. To run faster is one more exercise of our own expertise; but where even our expertise is infected, healing has to come from elsewhere. It has to 'come,' and we have to learn to look for it to come. The waiting is part of the healing."
If you've never read The Impact of God by Father Iain Matthew, I highly recommend it. I chose this book for some of my Lenten reading to delve into the writings of St. John of the Cross. What I have discovered is the incredible journey that prayer takes us on, ever growing in union with Christ, through often darkness, twists and turns, and purifications.
Yet at the same time, the transcendent beauty of a deep prayer life. Learning to see how God sees us through the Gospel passages, the healing process of the "nights," and the discovery that there is somewhere He is leading us, even (and I might say especially) when we don't have a clue where we are going.
The quote at the top made me think about how in Lent we are trying to run faster...to get ahead of our guide so to speak. The point of Lent, however, is about waiting patiently through the sufferings and trials that come our way to better prepare us for Calvary, which leads us to the glory and joy of the Risen Christ. There is healing that comes from waiting...maybe precisely because we need time to heal. We can't plant a seed and wake up in the morning to a full grown tree with abundant fruit.
"Nobody escapes their shadow by running faster." We have to put in the hard work of striving for virtue and rooting out vice, which comes through fidelity to His grace and our relationship of prayer with Him--in the concrete hours before His Eucharistic Presence, or the day-to-day challenging grind of finding Him in the midst of all the craziness of our lives.
We have to let God come to us, come to us in the middle of what we are dealing with right now, no matter what it looks like. He has a way of transforming our souls through these things, not in spite of them. So let us allow Him to do just that...healing us in the waiting.