A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench …


A few days before Christmas many years ago, my father and I walked to a nearby store to buy a Christmas tree. When he noticed that the snow was too deep for my short legs, he didn’t disappoint me by sending me home. Instead he walked ahead and said, “Follow in my footsteps. It will be easier for you to walk.” That image came to me as I thought about the words above: A bruised reed he will not break.

My legs are a lot longer now, and the above phrases have taken on different meanings. For example, when I try to write, my ideas are sometimes like a smoldering wick that just won’t burst into flame. But when I ask for help, Lord gives insights that eventually enable my sputtering ideas into spring to life. A smoldering wick he will not quench.

Lord, I am the bruised reed, the smoldering wick. May I believe more deeply in your compassionate guidance.

Fr. Kenneth E. Grabner, C.S.C.
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