Let Nothing Disturb You

02-13-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

I have shared with you before this prayer of St. Teresa of Avila which is both a favorite of mine and also a challenge to me!

"Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. They who love God lack nothing. God alone suffices."

I say that this prayer is a challenge because although I believe it, I have the hardest time actually living it. And yet it is supposed to be lived. It can be lived, even in circumstances far more difficult than I will ever face.

I am writing this on the memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947), a native of Sudan, who was captured and sold into slavery at age nine. She was eventually sold to an Italian man and was taken by him to Italy, ultimately serving a family as a nanny. In Italy she came into contact with the Catholic faith. The next paragraphs are from Pope Benedict about St. Josephine:

"Up to that time she had known only masters who despised and maltreated her, or at best considered her a useful slave. Now, however, she heard that there is a 'paron' ('master') above all masters, the Lord of all lords, and that this Lord is good, goodness in person. She came to know that this Lord even knew her, that he had created her—that he actually loved her. She too was loved, and by none other than the supreme 'Paron', before whom all other masters are themselves no more than lowly servants. She was known and loved and she was awaited."

"What is more, this master had himself accepted the destiny of being flogged and now he was waiting for her “at the Father’s right hand”. Now she had 'hope' —no longer simply the modest hope of finding masters who would be less cruel, but the great hope: 'I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good'. Through the knowledge of this hope she was 'redeemed,' no longer a slave, but a free child of God. She understood what Paul meant when he reminded the Ephesians that previously they were without hope and without God in the world—without hope because without God. Hence, when she was about to be taken back to Sudan, Bakhita refused; she did not wish to be separated again from her 'Paron'."

Here is more about St. Josephine: https://amywelborn.wordpress.com/2022/02/08/st-josephine-bakhita-and-hope/ She definitely lived the prayer of St. Teresa!

St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!


Fr. Baker