“While meeting with them, he [Jesus] enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4-5
The prospect of waiting is difficult for all of us.
As another example, take St. Louise de Marillac’s “Lumiere Experience”:
“On the Feast of Pentecost, during Holy Mass or while I was praying in the church, my mind was instantly freed of all doubt. I was advised that I should remain with my husband [Antoine Le Gras] and that a time would come when I would be in a position to make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and that I would be in a small community where others would do the same. I then understood that I would be in a place where I could help my neighbor but I did not understand how this would be possible since there was to be much coming and going. I was also assured that I should remain at peace concerning my director; that God would give me one whom He seemed to show me. It was repugnant to me to accept him; nevertheless, I acquiesced. It seemed to me that I did not yet have to make this change. My third doubt was removed by the inner assurance I felt that it was God who was teaching me these things and that, believing there is a God, I should not doubt the rest.” p.1 Writings
Waiting can be almost intolerable. Louise wanted to serve the Lord, but not in the way that the Lord was envisioning for her. Her spiritual director, Bp. Camus had enjoined upon her to wait for the Lord’s direction.
It is rare in a person’s life that he or she experiences the kind of illumination whereby she/he knows what God wants of her/him. Usually there is a succession of events that grant illumination and insight as to what God is asking. This was certainly true of Vincent, including his experiences at Folleville, Clichy, and Châtillon. There is a convergence of the Gospel message and experiences from one’s life which radically change a person’s life orientation. In other words, it is no longer a life bent on one’s own advancement, but a life given for the sake of others. In the cases of Vincent and Louise, these were lives devoted to the poor.
Just as in the hymn, “Spirit of the Living God,” there is a certain melting, molding, and using me by God for a particular work/ministry.