Saturday, March 17, 2007

Finding God in all things

Spring seems to be springing here along the Wasatch Front. It is lovely to behold. It is the age-old observance of coming-back-to-life. The Paschal Mystery is such an integral part of our lives that we often fail to notice it. Take grace, in which we move all the time, like fish in the ocean, yet so often we are still trying to find God, even though God is here all the time, most especially in other people, and not just in the people we happen happen to like, or who like us. In addition to people, God is in the many occurrences in our lives, in our experiences- speaking to us, challenging us, calling us beyond ourselves, reassuring us, even if with just enough hope to get us beyond a stressful, sad, arduous moment. "No one has ever seen God," we read in St. John's First Letter. "Yet," he continues, "if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us" (1 Jn 4,12).

One thing that Lent is about is intensifying our prayer, spending more time perceiving God in our lives and in others. Spiritual maturity, like emotional maturity is tough to achieve. If you're anything like me, it is easy to feel like we condemn ourselves repeatedly to be forever spiritual adolescents by being selfish, demanding, arrogant, prideful, by not only refusing to forgive, but actively nursing our grudges, by seeing those different from us as threats rather than the gifts they are. Nonetheless, God is still at work in us, or, at the very least knocking at the door hoping we will open up to Him and to the people we encounter. One cause of these symptoms is our slowness to accept that life isn't just cut-and-dry all the time, but is often ambiguous, resisting being stuffed into our all too neat categories, what I call in some classes our God matrix. After all it is St. Paul who writes: "At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror" (1 Cor 13,12). Perhaps it is this that makes those moments in which we distinctly perceive God all the more precious. As St. Paul wrote to the Phillipians, "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1,6)

Hopefully that puts us in mind of St. Patrick's Breastplate, which ends:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation

Be mindful of "the Creator of Creation"! Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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