When a group of high school students visited us in our friary, and it came time for them to leave, one hurried over to me, “Okay, so I know we don’t have a lot of time,” she said, “but I have to ask you something.  Did you ever doubt? and what did you do?”  There was a necessity in her eyes, an urgency in her voice that reeled me in easily, and I wanted so badly to solve everything for her in that one moment, to watch her walk away happy, smiling and without these deep concerns weighing down her soul.  I had nothing to say, though.  I answered her something totally inadequate, something like, “Yes, I have.  You need to pray; be honest about it and pray.”  It’s not an awful answer but it certainly isn’t a life changing response.

 She left as fast as she came, slipping onto the bus—lost among the thirty faces behind the large tinted windows, and I thought, well, that could have gone better.  But, you know, as I began to complain to Jesus that I had nothing profound to say, I realized that whatever I had to say wasn’t too important to him.  His concern now was that I pray for her, that I intercede.  It’s as if (and it’s not unlikely) that encounter happened not so that I could change her life in an instant with elegant words, pat myself on the back and be on my way, but that I may take her with me and carry her through my intercession and continued support.  And I have prayed.  I have tucked that little girl and her intentions inside my heart, and I always go back to her, and for her I will probably always be praying.  I think that, more than the clever words, is efficacious.
+ Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR, Ft. Worth, TX
Originally appeared at / Reposted here with permission