Avoiding The Call

see Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat
Epiphany 3 (year B), January 22, 2012
“The Call”

The Entombment of Jonah, Franco-Flemish Illumination, detail











When I was twenty-two, when The Call was new and fearsome, I felt overwhelmed by those famous and simultaneous qualities of attraction (mysterium fascinans) and repulsion (mysterium tremendum) so many people experience. I thought at the time that a threshold appeared before me, and I knew eventually I’d go through, but for now, I fought against that inevitable surrender. A cartoonish image came to mind, a Warner Brothers kind of character – except rather than Wile E. Coyote or Sylvester – it was me comically straddling the door jamb, resisting being sucked into what seemed a featureless, infinite, foggy, nothingness whirlwind beyond.

That was The Call for me – inevitable, but unknown, and, of course, beyond my control.

Finally, exhausted, somehow I took the step, or slid through, or, fell asleep and woke up on the other side.

You’d think that after forty years, faith would get easier. But I still struggle intellectually and morally and spiritually. I resist every threshold of widening consciousness, opportunities to grow and to love and to grow in love. I question, doubt, grumble, guffaw, choke on my pride, revel maniacally in distractions and exhaust myself with avoidance of Divine Presence.

Nevertheless, The Call is renewed every day, and I’ve learned to respond in some way. And all I want is the very thing I resist, that is, to surrender in love.


3 Responses to “Avoiding The Call”

  1. Harry Allagree Says:

    I’m sitting here saying “Ditto, ditto, ditto” to each paragraph that you’ve written, dear friend of long ago. Delighted to have stumbled across your website.

  2. joan Says:


  3. Patricia Wheelhouse Says:

    As one just beginning this journey, I appreciate your insights.

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