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WHAT DO YOU HUNGER FOR—what in you still cries out to be fed?

Summertime’s change of pace has always been something I have cherished. When our children were young, I loved summers—many activities/responsibilities had ended or were taking a break—school, Bible studies, sports. I would always turn to something new and different for my family and for myself. That included a new study or prayer practice for the summer months. Even with the kids gone and me in somewhat retirement mode, I love the feeling of being “done” with the activities of the school year and beginning something fresh for the summer. This year I am enjoying prayer times with the late Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B, who was a Benedictine Sister at St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’m praying and reflecting through her book, Behold Your Life, A Pilgrimage Through Your Memories. I can say that Sr. Macrina does not disappoint. This book is designed as a forty-day retreat but I’m allowing myself to linger more than one day with each Scripture reflection as God leads me. I’m going to share with you one of the reflections that has particularly moved me:

“You journey through the desert led by God. When you become hungry God feeds you with manna. (Read Deuteronomy 8:1-6)
What memories of hunger, unfulfilled needs, or neglect are stored in your heart? This is a day to focus on unmet needs. Reflecting on these instances of neglect is not to grovel in them but rather to embrace them as part of your history. This can also be a way of checking to see if there is anything you need to forgive. Is there a connection between the hungers you feel today and the hungers you remember from the past?

Every human person born into this world suffered some neglect. The pain of neglect is locked up in our hearts whether we realize it or not. Those who are our caretakers during our childhood are limited in many ways. Those limitations may have brought about some kind of negligence in our lives. We were neglected. It is the human condition.

Focus now on the neglects of your early childhood and spend some time today praying for the ones who neglected you. Spend time forgiving. If any particular memory comes to mind, ask it why it has come and listen to its answer. Embrace it and try to discern what it wants to teach you.

Somewhere in you there is something that didn’t get fed enough and it cries out for feeding now. It is still hungry. Take a long look at this ache-of-not-enough that lingers in your heart. Try to name it:

*Not enough love                                                                  
*Not enough understanding
*Not enough food                                                                 

*Not enough patience
*Not enough security                                                          

*Not enough affirmation
*Not enough attention

On this pilgrimage through life, ask God to heal, feed, and embrace this ache. Spend some time getting in touch with the ache-of-not-enough in your life. Write about it in your journal and look on it with understanding.

Jesus, I willingly hand over to you the hungers that linger in my heart. Dress the wounds of my early childhood with the glance of life. May that glance be the manna that satisfies my hunger. As I list my deepest hungers in my journal, I ask you to listen to the cries of my heart and feed me with the food I most need at this time of my life. Thank you for the hungers in my life that have encouraged me to go deeper and explore my inner life. Thank you for the hungers that have drawn me into your heart. Amen.”

If you feel drawn to this reflection, or even if you feel resistant to it, I encourage you to spend some time with God in prayer and see what God may have for you in this. A look at Jesus’ life here on earth makes it clear that he came to feed us, and to heal us. That is still true today. God deeply desires to transform, make new—each human being, each difficult relationship, and each troubling situation. Trust His slow and gentle healing hand upon you. God is always in our midst. You can trust God and trust the gradual.

Two questions that can be a great way to begin the spiritual direction process are:

  • What do you most want at the present moment?
  • What are you most afraid of right now?

Those questions can open the door for God to teach you more about Himself and more about Yourself. Divine healing then allows you to be free to truly live and love as Christ did—for the sake of the other.

May the summer blessings be upon us all.


  • Jenna
    Posted July 1, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing part of your forty-day retreat and about the importance of allowing God to help us forgive and heal wounds. Thank you for pointing out that we “go back” not to grovel, dwell, or blame…but to recognize, identify, forgive, and allow God to provide and heal. I know that the more that I allow Him to heal me, the less disordered my desires/ thoughts/ emotions/ actions are. But that’s uncomfortable most times! 🙂

  • Daniel Schuetz
    Posted July 2, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you, Cherry, so much! ❤️🌈💕🙏

    I wanted to let you and David know about Gail Leroy, who will be sharing via ZOOM from Montevideo, about her life and ministry at 9:00 AM, Saturday, September 9, 2023!

    You are more than welcome to attend!

    I am sure she would be excited to see you!

    The ZOOM number is: 309 662 4253

    No password!

    Love you guys! ❤️🙏🌈💕


    Dr. Daniel Schuetz
    Illinois State University
    (309) 825-9502
    504 Maple Place
    Normal IL 61761-3930

    • Cherryonline
      Posted July 6, 2023 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Daniel. I’ll put that date down.

  • Bill Hamilton
    Posted July 5, 2023 at 7:56 am

    do we not have to be careful of stirring something up to create a need when none exists. Hard part for me is to be still and know that God is God (not me).

    • Cherryonline
      Posted July 6, 2023 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Bill. Thanks for reading and commenting. I think it is wise to strive for that allusive balance in all things. I have seen much healing come from a look back at pain (with God by your side) and allowing God to grace you with more freedom to truly live and love well in the present. Yet, ultimately we need to let God be God and keep the focus on Him and His goodness to us now.

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