Finding God in our everyday experiences is at the heart of the mystical life. God is present in everyone's life - if we will only look and see and believe. Hidden in the starry night or the dew of the morning is the presence of our loving God. Even in the cruelty of Calvary experienced by Jesus, God was present. In our most tragic moments, God is present and available. For me, it is this presence that sustains me in each moment. I can look back at my life and see that in those moments of dark and light - our Triune God was present. Often times it is only after my experiences did I notice just how present God was. Are you open to Gods's presence in your everyday life? Look closely, God is there!
Do we see the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives daily? If not, how can we become aware of the very real presence of our Lord each and every day? These are vital questions to ask ourselves each day - and often time - throughout our days. For without our being intentional about our spiritual connection to Christ, we will miss so much of the grace and love of our lives. We all do. And, in my experience, it is because I am not keenly aware of the presence of Christ with me at each moment. For me, the key is to place times of Centering Prayer in my day. When I am silent and focused on being open, my soul can notice the very real presence of Christ in the world around me and in my very being. But, it does take effort - and awareness. No easy task in today's hyper-fast world filled with countless distractions. What works in your life that allows you to see Jesus Christ?
Suffering is inevitable. We all "suffer" to some degree. We can try to deny it and say that others suffer, and they do, but we want to discount that we do. Why? Because how we suffer may not be as dramatic or as deeply as others. That is usually true. Someone is suffering more than me. However, I suffer also - in so many small and even larger ways. But, what should be my response? I have learned that I should acknowledge and lean into suffering.
Often we want to distract ourselves or run away from our own suffering and that of others. If we do, we will miss life's greatest moments, experiences and opportunities. A good life is filled with so many ways to deal with our suffering and the suffering of others. However, we cannot effectively deal with it and help our selves and others if we run away from it or distract ourselves. A mystic tries not to run away from suffering but embraces it - ours' and others'.
It's one of the Holiest Days of the year - Holy Thursday. At Mass we celebrated with others, received Holy Communion and honored our priests. Experiences with other fellow travelers of faith are special. May God bless all our Holy Week!
It's Tuesday of Holy Week. Over the next few days, the Christian Community will again experience its most sacred rituals and its most profound graces. This annual ritual again reminds us of the great mysteries surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection. I pray it may be a fruitful time for all.
"... if it's true that I can lose You (God) in everything, it must also be true that I can find You in everything. If You have given me no single place to which I can flee and be sure of finding You, if anything I do can mean the loss of You, then I must be able to find You in every place, in each and every thing I do. Otherwise I couldn't find You at all, and this cannot be, since I can't possibly exist without You. Thus I must seek You in all things. If every day is "everyday," then every day is Your day, and every hour is the hour of Your grace." (From Karl Rahner, Encounters with Silence, p 49-50.)
When we look for God in every day - we can find God everyday. But, it does take the act of faith and the willingness to see God in places that we could so easily miss Him. Karl Rahner is correct - every hour of every day is God's. We just need to be open to see it!
Do we see it? The mysterious God of love is everywhere. It is all around us - if we will only let down our learned behaviors to judge and separate. All is whole in the very seeing. Joy is more of the see-er than in what is seen. When we just be - letting down our guard we can be open to the relationships available with others and nature all around us. Jesus was a model of "God with us". We too can be "God with others" if we can just be without our judgment and in communion with those around us. But, it takes our willingness to see.
Forgiveness has many days. Some days we must learn to forgive those who offend and hurt us. Other days we must seek forgiveness from others we have hurt. Most days involve both. Which means each day involves the mystery of love and forgiveness. The Christ story is all about both kinds of forgiveness. And Jesus showed the way forward. When we forgive and ask for forgiveness we set ourselves and others free. Seek forgiveness and in doing so save others and yourself the pain that occurs when we hold on to hurts.
Each day we live offers us mystery. Each person and each situation is a chance to see God's gifts and opportunities. We are called to see with the eyes of hope and joy. If we do so, we can see mystery. If we do so, we can offer hope. If we do so, we can find love. I did so today. Did you?
We need to listen to our own feelings and emotions. How we feel is neither good or bad - it just is. When we take time to acknowledge how we feel - we get some insight into what is going on with us right now. Are we sad, mad, happy, joyous or numb? What's causing it? What do I feel like doing? These questions allow us to step back and make smart choices with what to do with our feelings. We can make better choices when we know what is going on within us. Our feelings give us great insights - if we pay attention to them. To be a mystic means to be aware of all that is around us and within us - and to see how it is sacred because of the Maker. Our emotions and feelings help us tremendously in doing that.