Posted October 15, 2012:
The Voice of a Shepherd

by Fr. Bob Wild and Mary Ruth.

Before she died in 2009 at age 88, staff worker Mary Ruth put together for the staff of MH some of the advice her spiritual director, Fr. Wild, had given her. Here is an excerpt.

Father, how do you feel about aging?

As I grow older (I’ll be 65 in a few months), my understanding of God grows and grows. I mean, what must infinite Love be! He keeps us in existence at every moment, and he has made us for some wonderful plan and destiny.

I am confident that we are all secure in his arms of love and will one day be filled with unimaginable joy and peace.

Don’t allow yourself to be bothered by any thoughts of fear or guilt. Christ has bridged the gap between us and the Father. You are completely safe in his arms.

Father, I feel old age brings its own penances by our own limitations and suffering.

I think the final stages of purification for all of us will be things absolutely beyond our control and against all our wishes. It will be God preparing us for meeting him. I think you will be ready for whatever the Lord’s will is for you in that regard.

The words the Lord spoke to Peter come to me: When you were young, you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go (Jn 21:19).

How can I be holy?

The same words keep coming to me for you: enter into every present moment and meet the Lord there. This is the royal road to holiness. No need to work out any more penances for yourself. The Lord will provide them.

So, if we believe and watch, we get purified by our regular life?

Go beyond the secondary factors the Lord is using—doctors, etc. They are all instruments the Lord is using for your purification. Deal directly with Christ. That is the heart of the matter. We are consoling Christ in his ongoing Passion. All else is secondary.

So I need to learn to trust?

I call you not to get bogged down in the means God is using to draw you to himself. Keep your eyes directly on him, your beloved. He knows everything that is happening. All he asks of you is to trust his presence on the Cross, to embrace him there, and to keep your peace.

All the lack of understanding, physical hardship, etc., is built into the ways of God. They must come, if we are to be purified. Nothing is wrong. Jesus loves you enough to ask these sufferings of you for the salvation of souls. Put all into his hands and allow him to complete his work in you.


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