Fifth Sunday of Easter: Embracing Divine Energy

Photo: Sister Nancy A. Sell, OSF

I have always loved to swim. As a child growing up in Celina, Ohio, I spent summers at the local pool.  Our family summer vacations always involved a week at a lake in Michigan, Ohio or Indiana.  As an adult I love lap swimming and often choose retreat sites where there is water.  I have always been an adventuresome, strong, confident swimmer.  However, a situation that took place over 10 year ago brought a new dimension to my swimming experience and taught me a valuable lesson.

While in Florida visiting family, I went for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico.  It was a beach area with other people around.  It was a beautiful day.  Feeling exuberant I swam as far out as I could within the confines of the beach area.  The water was over my head.  Enjoying the water, air,  sky and the beauty of the day, I did not realize I was in trouble until I started to swim back toward shore.  I simply could not get anywhere and felt myself being pulled further out into the Gulf.  For the first time in my life I realized I had met my match in swimming.  The current was going out while I was trying to go in.  I suddenly remembered hearing that in situations like this swimming diagonally can help.  I proceeded one stroke at a time.  It took a while as I was swimming against the pull of the current.  Finally I made it in far enough near the shore where I knew I was safe.  The current was no longer pulling me out to the depths of the Gulf.

Although I am still an adventuresome swimmer, I am more cautious now, realizing that all the strength in the world is not going to save me from strong currents and undertow.  I realized in those moments and in post reflective moments that I cannot do everything myself.  Sometimes the currents of life are just too strong.

Over the years I have reflected on the similarities of this swimming experience to other life situations.  Even though my first inclination is to think that strength will allow me to deal with difficult life situations, I recognize that sometimes the currents of life are just too strong.  In those moments I  remember again that there is divine energy within me and around me.  I can tap this divine energy if  I open myself to this tremendous treasure .  I also open myself to others journeying with me to help me “get to the shore” safely.

An invitation this fifth Sunday of Easter is to know more deeply within ourselves that we are not alone; divine energy pulsates within us and around us allowing us to deal with any situation in our life, aiding us to see beauty in the midst of pain and sadness, giving us wisdom to stay with the moment and to make decisions as we journey through life.  Embracing divine energy pulls us toward the center of our being, keeping us safe and warm even in the midst of the storms of life.

Our encouragement is to slow down and to feel the pull of divine energy healing, transforming and making all things beautiful.

Blessings and peace,

About SisterNancy

I am a Catholic Sister, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoy swimming and nature: hiking in the mountains and along rolling hills, sitting by water and walking through the various seasons of life. I am a spiritual director, spirituality consultant, chaplain and retreat director. You can contact me at
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