On Being Comforted

By Columban Fr. Cyril Lovett

"Where do you find comfort", you asked,
and I found myself at a loss for an answer.
I am accustomed to comforting others
and now, when I need comforting,
where do I find it?

The child in me needs to be held, just
the comfort of being enclosed in a warm
embrace, to switch off my head and
let my wounded heart be soothed
and lulled to a restful calm.

But I am no longer just a child.
Among the men and women who
know, love and accept me,
with whom I can be myself,
I can put words on the pain within,
and putting it outside myself, find ease.

Their loving care and concern is
in the eyes that engage mine;
in the total attention they give me;
in the listening that hears my words
and all that is behind the words.

Even as I speak, they cast a healing
spell about me, and I am comforted.

But there is more: the one called The Comforter:
He/She and I have things to work out together.
I have to get in touch with all the
grief, sorrow, anger, pain, sadness and fear;
the emotions I do my best to avoid.

Even with my best friends,
I have difficulty in expressing these feelings.
With the Spirit, the Comforter, even more so.
And yet our relationship remains constrained
the longer I postpone this essential task.

Help me, Comforter, to be aware,
to be in touch with all the depths of feelings
stirred up at this time. Help me
to experience your loving concern,
your undivided attention,
your listening that goes beyond my words.
Then I shall begin to be healed and whole
Once more.

Columban Fr. Cyril Lovett lives and works in Ireland. 

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Columban logoThe Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God.

We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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