In From The Wilderness
Lying there in low spirits, he also felt afraid of God, because during prayer he had fallen into helpless crying, accusing God of being a failure as a father, “You weren’t there! You are not there when we need you! You are not a Father!”
Michael enetered into utter emptiness and struggled to stay afloat mentally, but eventually came to a condition of stillness, and a quiet acceptance of his inability to make a success of his art and to be a good father.
At this depth of discouragement, he crawled out of bed with pain and effort and knelt to pray. And then he felt the gentle touch of God’s kindness:
It comes to me that my wounds concerning the the poor fatherhood I received as a child have been transferred to God. I misread existence in the light of my wounds and the result is fear. A deep and beautiful stillness as I kneel before the Shrine of The Sacred Heart in our living room. I sit by the chair and imagine God as Father sitting on it, waiting, always waiting for me. I rest my head on the chair seat, on his invisible knees. There are no words, no thoughts, no emotions, just a profound stillness and peace. It heals me. Come, the presence says, come every day and rest by me, in me. And I will set you free. *
*taken from O’Brien’s personal journal, 1982.
I supose we all have struggles that we deal with at different stages of our lives. As I slowly read this book, I am reminded that events that we believe to be insurmountable, are but ant hills in the lives of others. I only wish I could find and harness the faith that Mchael found.