October 03, 2020

Written by: Bro. Brian Poulin

Saturday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time

If we were to begin a litany of the losses suffered in 2020, where would it ever end? From the overwhelming to the imperceptible, this year has taken something extra from everybody—presumably even from the obscenely wealthy whose fortunes increased so immensely throughout the course of the pandemic and economic fallout. Even those who have lost neither loved ones, nor home, nor job, nor their own personal health, still have surely lost the comfort of certain familiar routines from our 2019 world. Even those who had already been endangered by the threats of violence, poverty, or illness saw their situations become more vulnerable still.

It has been a year greatly affected by germs, white supremacists, and wildfires, all of which continue to do such great harm. Still we remember that many of the sick recovered. Protesters filled the streets to demand racial justice. Rain eventually came to help subdue a number of the fires. No matter how challenging this year has been, things always could have been worse, both at the personal and collective levels. And just as each person has had their own personal tragedies and disappointments to add to the scales, many of us can count personal joys in our lives as well. Babies were still born, students still graduated, couples still fell in love, seekers still entered religious life.

Maybe some of us have been helped to clarify our values. What is important? What is essential? What is neither?

The spiritual journey consists not in absorbing settled answers, but rather in how we encounter the most fundamental questions. These questions sometimes tease us, and sometimes we hide from them. We may hold them loosely or gaze at them ponderously. We walk alongside them or wrestle with them. Regardless, they keep us company in one way or another as long as we pay attention.

My current question from God is whether I can allow him to be enough for me.

One way or another, this question has been with me for the past couple years, through pain, joy, loss, and bounty. Recently, it has found greater focus and become both less urgent and more persistent. It doesn’t threaten me, but nor does it leave me alone for long. The question is not in a hurry and it does not rush me, but neither does it relent.

Can I allow God to be enough for me?

It’s supposed to be an easy question for me to answer. After all, the ‘right’ answer lies in the religious vows that I have publicly professed and which must be professed continuously. Being right is not enough, however. I must also speak truly.

Can I allow God to be enough for me?

This means enjoying the gifts I have received without insisting on them. Putting God’s work above my own preferences. Letting go of ego desires to seek affirmation and avoid criticism. Striving to make God’s purpose my own in the priorities I set and the values I proclaim. To allow God to be enough for me means to equally welcome both blessing and hardship. It means to work diligently for that which is important while prayerfully entrusting the actual outcomes of my efforts God whose mysterious work is most determinative.

Can I allow God to be enough for me?

I can’t say ‘no,’ but I’m afraid that I am not yet ready to honestly say ‘yes.’ I still want God and

but I think my current position is ok so long as I continue to accept the questions’ company and allow it to slowly re-shape me over time. I’m not at the destination, but at a point on the journey.

“The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” – Now if I can just begin to say it like I mean it… Once more, with feeling!


This week’s “ear candy” speaks beautifully to the theme of letting God be enough, albeit within a very different context. As for the “brain food”, we must remember in this stressful election season that there are compassionate individuals of good faith and heartfelt intentions supporting both parties, as impossible as it may be for partisans of either side to believe. This article illustrates that even among Catholic bishops, there is no consensus as to which candidate better aligns with Church teaching. I offer this as a pre-election prompt to remind us to use our heart, brain, and conscience in the voting booth.

Ear Candy: “He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli

Brain Food: “Bishop John Stowe Rebukes Trump as Anti-Life” by Lucy Grindon

Come back on the first Saturday of next month for a new post!