Wishing Vs. Wanting
By S. Andrea Koverman
By the time February 14 rolls around, stores have been stocked for weeks with Valentine cards, bouquets of roses, boxes of chocolate, stuffed animals and heart-shaped balloons. Relentless advertisements insist that what makes a woman happy and lets her know that she is truly loved is a diamond ring or a pendant. Though there’s nothing wrong with giving or receiving a token of affection (who doesn’t love a box of chocolates?), it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype and miss a beautiful opportunity to really explore your own heart’s desire.
 
As I have done my own reflection, I was struck with how often the words “wish” and “want” bubbled up into my thoughts and prayers. They are closely connected but actually very distinct emotions. Wanting or real desire leads us into taking action while wishing either grows into wanting or it’s simply wistful and magical thinking. We can see from all the protests and changes in government during this turbulent past year that more and more people have moved from wishing to wanting things to change and are willing to invest the work it takes to bring their desires into fruition. 
 
Personally, I have often thought, “I wish I knew what to do,” or, “I wish things were different.” But it was only when I deeply wanted something that I was willing to do the hard work (usually on myself) that it required. When I stopped wishing I knew what God was asking of me, and I really wanted to know, I realized I was and am in a whole different place of discernment. It requires that I become willing to be led rather than pushing my own (or someone else’s) agenda and that I can tell the difference. I have to spend time getting to know myself well, including all my shadows and egoistic trappings as well as recognizing what makes my heart sing and brings me deep joy.
 
It also requires that I be patient, both with myself and with God. Sometimes it’s a long process, and sometimes surprisingly not, but trusting that God knows well the plans God has in mind for you (Jeremiah 29: 11-14a) translates to trusting God to work in God’s time. Reflecting on how you have arrived at the place you are now will quickly reveal how God uses all for good when we let God. This prayer by Trappist monk Thomas Merton (1915-1968) says it all so well and inspires me to be patient and persistent:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
 
During this month dedicated to honoring love, I invite you to celebrate all the ways God has blessed you with people who love you and those whom you love, and to spend some time with God exploring your own heart’s true desire. Have a few chocolates while you’re at it!
Signs of Hope: S. Tracy Kemme Professes Final Vows
Looking into the faces of a small group of loved ones in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on July 25, 2020, the day of her final vow ceremony, S. Tracy Kemme felt the presence and support of so many more. Read More at https://www.srcharitycinti.org/2020/07/27/sister-of-charity-of-cincinnati-tracy-kemme-
Follow us on Instagram
Looking for another way to connect with the Sisters of Charity throughout the month? Find inspirational quotes, insightful articles, pictures and more when following our Instagram page. Find us today at www.instagram.com/sistersofcharityofcincinnati.
Catholic Schools Week: Faith. Excellence. Service.
The Sisters of Charity have a long legacy ministering in the field of education. In celebration of Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 31-Feb. 6) we have asked a few of our current and former SC educators to tell us what they enjoy/enjoyed most about their teaching ministry. 
Dates & Opportunities
World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life (Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m. Eastern): CLICK HERE to check out this panel on Consecrated Life and “Fratelli Tutti.”
 
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Meet & Greet (Feb. 3, 7 p.m. Eastern): Young adult women and men (18-40) curious about their vocation are invited to meet and greet a few sisters, brothers, lay women and priests living the consecrated life. Zoom sessions include prayer and breakout rooms to share smaller conversations. CLICK HERE for more information and to register.
 
Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (Saturday, Feb. 6-Tuesday, Feb. 9): The USCCB’s annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is happening virtually in 2021. Connect with hundreds of Catholics whose faith drives them to address pressing issues of justice both locally and globally.
 
L.A. Religious Ed Congress (Thursday, Feb. 18-Sunday, Feb. 21): The amazing, annual L.A. Religious Education Congress is going virtual this year, and the cost is only $35! Join thousands of people to hear the best Catholic speakers of our day - from the comfort of your home. Register here today!
 
SC Discernment Group (Sunday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. Eastern): S. Louise Lears will be our guest presenter, and several other Sisters will join us to be part of the small groups, as we discuss what it’s like to love as a Sister.
 
March Faith Sharing (Sunday, March 7, 7 p.m. Eastern): Join with other young adult women to reflect on the Lenten journey.
 
March Discernment Group (Sunday, March 21, 7 p.m. Eastern): S. Whitney Schieltz will be our guest presenter as we talk about discernment in the Year of St. Joseph.
Note: Email S. Tracy Kemme (tracykemme@gmail.com) to get the Zoom link for any of the above SC discernment group and faith sharing opportunities.
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