You Don’t Know What You’re Asking

Swish! Swish! Swish! lap the waves. 12:15 AM reads the my watch beneath the silver star light. What am I looking for? What do I want? I think to myself as I knead the sand with my toes.  

Beep! Beep! Beep! blares the alarm. 2:30 AM the infernal red light reads as I whack around the nightstand searching for the off bottom. Why am I awake? Why am I leaving? I wonder as I stand up.

Blink! Blink! Blink! whispers the turning signal. 4:45 AM reads the green car radio clock as I glimpse through the purpling dawn the tiny airport. What am I doing? Where am I going? my heart questioned as boarded the plane. It’s the Feast of St. James and I am entering the Dominican Order my heart answered. But what does that mean? What am I asking?

“Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?’ They said to him, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.” (Mk. 10:38-39).

You do not know what you are asking. James and John didn’t know what they were asking Jesus. What does it mean to be an apostle, to be a Christian, to enter into religious life? “Take up your cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

Follow me.

I am asking to follow you. To follow you wherever you tread, to share in all that you experience so that I may share in all that you are. “But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Pet. 4:13).


I am asking to enter into your joy. The joy that comes from knowing, possessing what one loves. Even now I am asking to know you. I am asking to share in every aspect of you. I am asking for you, O Lord.

Ring! Ring! Ring! rejoice the bells. 12:00 AM read the analog arms, but my eyes are elsewhere, past the Paschal flame, at hands elevated above the altar. I ask for you, O Lord.

Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (used with permission)

From Dominicana Journal