I’m on my second trip for 2012–this time, in College Station, Texas, for a meeting with several other Daughters of St. Paul who also work with young women discerning their vocations. It promises to be a busy and fruitful week, full of meetings with each other and with the students at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A & M.
While I will have internet access almost daily, I doubt that I will have enough brain-space to post, so this post will be it for the coming week.
Writing has been a struggle in January and these first few days of February. I had scheduled to write four chapters of my book, and instead wrote only two. I have a number of good reasons for this, but my biggest reason has to do with the disorientation of traveling, combined with my intense immersion in other aspects of our Pauline mission besides writing. Both preparation for the trip and the duration of the trips are intense. I’ve found that it takes me a full week to settle back in to a productive writing mentality and routine. (Are all writers such fragile creatures of habit?) However, despite falling behind, I still intend to be faithful this week to my resolution that I will let my “non-writing times” be more relaxed.
A second difficulty I faced in delving back into the book I’m writing is that I don’t feel worthy of writing about the Eucharist. What could I possibly have to say that does justice to this astonishing, paradoxical Mystery?
The truth is, I cannot do the Eucharist justice.
But that’s not the point. My question leads to a dead-end: me. Instead of focusing on my inadequacy or capabilities, I need to focus on the call in this work. How is the Lord inviting me in this project? What has the Spirit been whispering to me in my heart? What do God’s people–the readers whom I might be able to reach–need in a book about the Eucharist? What in my experience of the Eucharist has so deeply touched me that sharing it might have the potential to touch others?
These questions lead me in a direction that could be helpful for every writing project–especially when my doubts become overwhelming. As I was praying Psalm 3 in the Office of Readings today, I was struck by the mention of the “many foes” who deny that God will help me. My doubts take different forms for every project, but are often my worst “foe” as a writer.
Focusing instead on God’s invitations within each project can transform those doubts into the prayerful discernment needed to write about this mystery of life in which we can discover God’s love.