Path through the woods

Photo by Ashley Bukowski

Dear Friends,

If there is anything constant in our lives, it is change. We all know how quickly, and without warning, things can change. An accident can change our health situation; a job can change our living situation; a relationship can change our whole outlook on life. To experience change in its fullness, we need to come to grips with closure. And, this can be hard at times, but not impossible.

While meditating one morning, I came across a story written by Joni Woelfel called “The Princess and the Path.” It is a story she says she has never been able to finish. Perhaps, it is because the ending is ever changing. Here is a short version of the story (you can find the full story in Joni’s book The Light Within.):

“One evening a princess stands at her cottage door…she picks up her bag and steps slowly and deliberately down the stairs and walks into the unknown. She hears familiar sounds coming from the woods, yet it still causes the hair on the back of her neck to stand up. As she walked along, the princess watched the woods begin to shimmer as she knew they would. The magic was beginning.  …she caught her breadth, knowing the path would soon open up and she would be required to journey along it as she had many times before in the past. The worst moment of fear and regret had passed, and trust took its place. The princess knew she had to go – and so she did. Experience had taught her not to waste time protesting once the waiting was over. Gradually the thick trees silently parted, revealing a faint, luminous path that lay before her… The story reminds us that God prepares a safe path for all of us – a path that unfolds as our hardships unfold (the changes in our lives).”

Like the princess, we realize that things will turn out all right, even though what lies ahead isn’t revealed. “God always provides a path, if not an ending.” Does this story resonate in your heart? Perhaps you have had to deal with some changes, challenges that are not easy. Can you/we close the door, step down the path and move toward the slightly luminous path that lies before us? I invite you to take a look at what changes you are being called to. Can you face them with trust in your heart and move to the next step? With God’s help, I know we all can take the next step — for God is always with us.

Till next week,

Sr. Theresita

Editor’s note: Sr. Theresita Donach, assistant national vocation director for the CSFNs, shares this weekly reflection via e-mail with a group of women discerning their vocation. If you are interested in joining that online community, please e-mail

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