A few years ago, when John and I were going to grad school for Ministry, we had some wonderful professors. One of them was Deacon Claude Curtin. I have not seen him for a while, but did run into him at Deacon Ordination on Saturday. He has had a great impact on my spirituality. He is funny and quirky and smart and very holy.
Seeing Claude reminded me that he once gave us a little plaque with a saying by St. Catherine of Genoa:
God works so subtly and secretly that those in whom the work is being accomplished do not themselves perceive it. If they knew of the work, they would spoil it.
I have this little saying hanging in our laundry room, where I see it several times each week. I find it to be really helpful when I am feeling lost or discouraged or hopeless. When I am in a mood where I want answers from God NOW, seeing this saying makes me laugh. It reminds me that God is always working in me and in my life. God does not dare reveal to me what is happening, because I would do something to spoil it.
It is true that I am often impulsive and impatient. I see great truth in the idea that I would jump ahead of the plan and ruin the outcome. Keeping this little quotation in mind helps me to be patient, trusting that God will work things out for the best for me and those I love. I do not have to try to guess what will happen or to manipulate circumstances to get my own way. I can relax and let God do the work and have faith that everything will be revealed in time. This is a great blessing and a great relief. I do not have to know everything right now. I just need to allow God to work in me and try not to spoil everything by forcing the outcome that I think is best.