Lord, hasten to help me

Bruges Reien White SwansHeer haast u mij te helpen begins one of the daily divine offices of the church in Dutch. Am I praying in Dutch now? It seems the answer is Yes! After the four months of intensive Dutch school which ended on Dec 18, this nun hardly had time between rejoicing that the classes were over and savoring the bittersweet memories of the students to notice before leaving for America whether or not the language or the classes had done any good. What had I processed? I did go to say goodbye to the Bakery lady, my pre-dawn trek past the sleeping swans for bread buying; and the owner came out to say goodbye wishing me a nice month in the States; I was acknowledged, welcomed and spoken to in Dutch and wished a happy trip. Wow, I lived here! I realized delightedly that I had made it; I was part of the neighborhood. Upon my return, I still wondered about the language. Had I assimilated anything and if so what was that? Now that I am not going to school again until May, I  still realize that yes I am into Dutch. I can think at least for simple things like buying bread in Dutch; and much more than I had realized, praying in Dutch. When phrases like Wij danken God (we thank you God ) or Ik ben niet wardig (I am not worthy) from the daily Mass float through my mind and heart during the day, I realize, yes. I can do this. I can speak and pray in Dutch. Lo and behold, God seems to hear me. Wij danken God.

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