Explore new paths inprayer
My name is Kate Toft Madsen, and I give spiritual direction and individually guided retreats
O Lord, make haste and light up the night.
As the dying man longs, so I long for you, Lord.
Say to my soul that nothing happens without Your permitting it,
and that nothing You permit is without comfort.
O Jesus, Son of God, You were silent in the presence of Your accusers,
restrain my tongue until I have thought things over
and know what to say and how to say it.
Show me the way and make me willing to wander it.
It is folly to hesitate, yet perilous to go forward.
Answer my prayer and show me the way.
As the wounded go to the doctor in search of aid, so do I come to You.
O Lord, give Your peace to my heart. Amen.
You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing You have loved us first many things and every day our whole life through. When we wake up in the morning and turn our soul toward You – You are the first – You have loved us first; if I rise at dawn and at the same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first. When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are the first and thus forever. And yet we always speak ungratefully as if You have loved us first only once. (...)
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability— and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. (...)
In me there’s darkness,
but with you there’s light;
I’m lonely, but you don’t leave me;
I’m feeble in heart,
but with you there’s help;
but with you there’s peace.
In me there’s bitterness,
but with you there’s patience;
I don’t understand your ways,
but you know the way for me.
And now, thus says Yahweh,
He who created you, Jacob,
who formed you, Israel;
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name, you are mine.
Should you pass through the waters, I shall be with you;
or through rivers,
they will not swallow you up.
Should you walk through fire,
you will not suffer,
and the flame will not burn you.
For I am Yahweh your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
Since I regard you as precious,
since you are honoured and I love you...
I was born in Chicago and came to Denmark as an exchange student. I returned later in connection with my studies and met my husband. I’ve lived in Denmark for more than 40 years and direct in Danish and English.
My faith journey
I grew up in the Catholic church, but lapsed. I wanted prayer back in my life. Thanks to a colleague who was a Baptist, I discovered Taizé services, and from there I found my way to the Saint Joseph Sisters’ retreat center in Denmark, Stella Matutina, and from Stella back to the Church. The sisters work with Ignatian spirituality in the tradition of Ignatius of Loyola. It has become my path too.