I want to tell you of something that has been way back in my mind for a long time.It relates to giving our hearts,our wills to Christ ,to be fashioned by Him.And obedience.These things are quite difficult in my view and out of fear, I have done it half way for a long time.I take comfort in knowing that He knows what a wimp I am.
My husband and I took a trip to Italy several years ago.Perhaps it was 2002.We stayed in stark convents in several lovely cities and toward the end of the trip, we found ourselves in Cortona ,of "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame.It was June and very hot.We kept seeing clouds in the distance across the poplar studded plain.Grey clouds that we hoped would move our way, as we drank wine ,ate cheese and felt pretty happy about ourselves.This is a medieval town situated on a hillside with steep ,narrow streets.
One our last day,we decided to walk to Le Celle, a monastery outside of town, and off we went.The name means Convent of the Cells and we saw the tiny one that St.Francis often stayed in,with its stone bed and wooden pillow.Comfy.
The trip there was arduous,hilly and hot.It took over 45 minutes and I knew there was no way I could hike back without expiring amid the cobble stones.When we arrived, I said to my husband,".You'll have to get a cab for the return trip,I can't hike back".Speaking no Italian and not having a cell phone, he was less than pleased.We both stomped off in different directions.
I found myself in the small, dim and very quiet church where the great saint prayed and I added my prayers to all those through the centuries that had been offered there. Then I heard this so distinctly that I was stunned."Walk Back".Well, no I can't .But......something in me shifted and softened and I said ,"O.K."
This was not an audible voice but an interior one.I have heard it before and now I recognize it like the little sheep who know the shepherd's call from all the other noise in the background.I am no one special.It is my belief that He wishes to speak with everyone but one must be quiet and attentive.
No one was more surprise than I to hear myself tell my husband that we could walk back.Relief shown in his face and we headed for the gate and road.Within two minutes, a car pulled over and the driver asked if we wanted a ride.All faces climbing up from Le Celle must have the same haggard look.Our angel took us back and as we got out, I handed her a holy picture from the store at the monastery and thanked her.I ponder all of these things.