The Jesuits of the New England and New York Provinces are offering a weekly Lenten podcast series, and in the second episode, Jesuit Father Steve Sanford talks about experiencing and overcoming darkness in one’s life through God.
“Sometimes in our life, God uses the experience of darkness to speak to us,” Fr. Sanford says.
Fr. Sanford shares a time of darkness from his own life, when he was assigned to go to Jamaica in 1988 for two years. “I was getting more and more anxious as the time drew close,” he recalls. “I was having trouble sleeping. I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to a country where I know nobody.’”
Fr. Sanford says talking to his friends and spiritual director didn’t help, but about two weeks before he was scheduled to leave, he was praying and asked God to help him.
“I heard a voice say to me: ‘Steve, don’t worry, no matter where you go, I will send you people to love.’”
Fr. Sanford says after he heard that in prayer, he relaxed and his fears about serving in Jamaica vanished.
“In that deep darkness of my life, that time of anxieties and fears, God spoke to me,” he says. “It’s a promise he made in 1988 and he keeps making each day.”
As he goes through this Lenten season, Fr. Sanford says he reminds himself that God is always going to send him people to love.
Listen to Fr. Sanford’s podcast at the New England Province website.