Both St. Francis and St. Bonaventure are said to have visited La Verna, a mountain donated to the Franciscans by Count Orlando of Chiusi, at times in their lives where they were wrestling with their divine calling. Bonaventure writes that he was panting for peace. This is a feeling each of us can relate to on our own journeys, perhaps best depicted by Thomas Merton in his famous prayer about feeling directionless but still trusting God.
One foot in front of the other—“panting for peace,” searching for a sign,
walking this unknown path that found itself beneath my feet—
I trust that you are with me, even as my compass spins,
that you see the desires of my heart even as the mountain bends.
One foot in front of the other,
I recognize my perception of peace and signs is wrapped in cultural ideals,
idolized destinations, linear progress in a nonlinear world.
Today I confess: On this path into the emptiness—
this place where my heart will learn to be filled by grace—
your presence is all I need.
Sometimes placing one foot in front of the other, while seeking God’s wisdom in the process, is the only action that clears a path toward the peace we are craving. That path may bend into unlikely places yet in this we can trust that God knows the desires of our hearts and is with us as our direction unfolds.