I have been writing you letters for over 30 years now. It strikes me that I must pause for a moment and ask, why? The idea was initially proposed to me by a priest friend as a way of developing a more personal relationship with You. I still write because I believe that reason is a sound one. Nurturing and enlarging the bounds of my relationship with You is something I still strongly desire. Over the years, however, certain other factors may have crept in and colored my correspondence. There is the desire that in the act of writing down what is on my mind I will be made to think more deeply about the subject. There is also the hopeful expectation that You will use the instrumentality of these letters as a vehicle for Your whisper. But maybe more than anything else, especially lately, the desire that others read these letters has crept in.
At this time no one else has ever read them. I have edited them, typed them out, saved them. Why? Surely I didn’t do it for You. For You my diminutive hand-scrawled pages are enough. I rationalize it with a quote from the wonderful spiritual writer Fr. Henri Nouwen: “I do not think that it [our spiritual life] should ever become a private journey ... Ultimately I believe that what is most personal is most universal.”
I take further consolation in all the writings of the saints and mystics. Yet, through it all, in my heart-of-hearts, I recognize my “self” and its ego-centric desires. There is a purity that I grasp at, based on the hope that I may be an instrument in Your hands. My name or identity need never be attached to these letters and I really think I’d be fine with that. But the desire in the human breast to share what one thinks and believes is very strong in me as well as the desire to share what I think You’ve taught me.
If I leave it in Your hands maybe You will let me know. After all, they are Your letters.