Lead Us On


Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.


I have found that one of the best ways to get a good conversation going is to ask a question, and then to follow it up by discussing whatever happens to be of interest to the other.  I recall first learning this as a teen-ager.  Back then, I was told that this is how one wins friends and influences people.  God bless those wise elder adults of yester year!  I wonder, at times, if God ever uses this approach with us.


     To begin with, it seems obvious that whatever insight comes to us along the way is connected to what has gone on before. Some time back, in Journey and the Joy, an event was discussed on how God uses questions.  The story goes something like this. One summer back in the sixties, I took part in what was called a House of Prayer Experience, in which groups of six or seven Sisters were stationed at different missions in the Midwest. The House of Prayer Movement was begun by Father Bernard Haring.


Whatever We Liked Most


By way of input, one day, an outside speaker, a Carmelite Sister, visited us. I still recall the visit vividly.  Seven of us sat in a semi circle, all very eager to learn more.  Our speaker told us that she was going to ask us a question and that we should note the first thing that came to our minds.  Here was the question:  “What do you like most about God?”  One Sister said that what she liked most about God was that God was always around.  Another spoke of forgiveness.  If a Sister’s response was that of love, she was encouraged to refine what aspect of love meant the most to her.  None of us were prepared to ponder the flip side of the question.  The speaker went on to explain.  All of us come from God.  Eventually, we return to God.  The color of the path of return will be unique for each of us.  Here is where our answer to the initial question enters in. Whatever we said we liked the most about God will actually be what we find the most difficult.


     I recount the above story not for the sake of repetition, but simply to suggest what might be a related question:  “What do we think God likes the most about us?”  Again, the response to this question will be unique for each of us. And it would seem that the answer is also be related to the color of the path of our return. As I reflect on the question, it seems to me that whatever we think God likes most about us is probably something that comes naturally, even though, paradoxically, it may not be easy.  Also, our answer to the question may well be related to what God’s will is for us.


     I used to think that the questions we have about life come from us.  Now, more and more, I believe that it is God who puts the questions within us.  Some people would say that these questions lead us to greater consciousness. 


To A Place We Dare Not Go


Periodically, we sing a song at liturgy composed by Carey Landry, and when it appears on the program, the group sings it with unusual gusto.  In the lyrics, we ask God to lead us on to a place we dare not go and to be with us as we face new days.  The lyrics go on to speak of the all of our lives and of our dreams and of all that we hope to be.  It could be that God uses questions to lead us on. 

     However, we intuitively know that someday we will be led to the place where there is no need of questions, a place where we will simply rest in the Presence of the One we have been seeking and Who has been seeking us.  Sometimes, even now, we have short times when this happens. All along, whether we go up Carmel’s high mountain or walk out into the wide, open fields, we are always under the all-encompassing gaze of God, a gaze that is so comforting and strengthening.  I like to think that when God looks into our hearts, God sees God’s own heart in ours.