Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This Sunday, the gospel reading was about the story of Jesus calming the storm while He and the disciples traveled in the boat on the sea of Galilee. The disciples were afraid of the storm and they were astounded that Jesus was sleeping through the whole frightening event. They woke him and asked him what should they do. Jesus was frustrated with them for having little faith and he immediately calmed the storm to lessen their fears.
That got me thinking about all the times in my life when I asked Jesus to calm the storm. Should the calm be what I focus my prayers upon? Or should I have the faith that God has a purpose to the storm? The storm may be there to draw me to a new level in my spiritual life. The storm may be there to bring about God's kingdom. I am sad to think of all the times when I have asked Jesus to calm the storm instead of embracing the storm with the faith that God's Will is bigger than my life. How many times have I missed the step to the next level? How awesome would it be if I just danced with God in the rain and trusted that He will keep me close to Him? Faith, hope and love is what I should be praying for.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Taken from A Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises
Jesus, may all that is you flow into me.
May your body and blood be my food and drink.
May your passion and death be my strength and life.
Jesus, with you by my side enough has been given.
May the shelter I seek be the shadow of your cross.
Let me not run from the love which you offer,
But hold me safe from the forces of evil.
On each of my dyings, shed your light and your love.
Keep calling to me until that day comes,
When, with your saints, I may praise you forever.
Friday, June 12, 2009
In the last CRHP meeting, our spiritual leader had a vision about a beautiful garden and how each one of us was a beautiful flower in the garden. And the gardener in the garden was Christ. And while she admired the beauty of all the flowers-all of us, he carefully picked all the best flowers of each one of us and made her a bouquet and handed it to her. It was at that moment that she knew she would be our spiritual director. The thing that stuck out at me was how she was struck by the beauty of the garden. I consider myself to be a pretty average soul. Why would God choose beauty as a means to describe us? Later that evening, I saw an article on the Word Among Us website that went into great detail about divine beauty. I was drawn to read it thinking that there was something more that God wanted me to understand about the vision. The following is a summery of that article.
God is beautiful. His beauty is something that we cannot comprehend here on Earth with the limitations of our imperfect humanity. The Son is of the Father and the Holy Spirit is the breath they share. Therefore, the Trinity is beautiful. They are beautiful because they admire the beauty they see in each other. The beauty of their relationship is much like music. Each note derives its beauty from its relationship to the other notes. Their beauty is not defined by the limitations of our senses. Their beauty is divine and something that we will fully experience in the next life.God created mankind in His image. Therefore, before sin entered the world, Adam and Eve understood and experienced divine beauty. They lived with the beauty of God in the garden. They saw the beauty in each other. Life was beautiful. After they committed sin, Adam and Eve could no longer see the beauty God gave them. They were ashamed of their nakedness and covered themselves. They hid from God. Because of their sin, they lost their privilege to experience divine beauty. However, God did not take away their desire to seek beauty. As humans, we seek and appreciate beauty. This is seen in things such as art and music. God left us with this desire so that some day we may find our way back to the source of the beauty.
When God's Son came into this world, He had to give up the experience of divine beauty. He had to become human- like us. The divine beauty was absent from this world and the only way He could bring it back to us was to become one of us. This sacrifice brings me to my knees. The humility He has is amazing. He became one of us and gave up the beauty He experienced with His father. This is an amazing unconditional Love for mankind. When He was on earth, He spoke constantly of God's glory. Glory is another word for beauty. He said that by doing the will of the Father, He is glorified. He became like a window through which we can see the beauty of God. By doing His father's will in dying on the cross, Christ pays the debt for the sin of humanity. He gives beauty back to the world through its opposite- an ugly death on the cross. When we accept His love and give our hearts to Him, we are made beautiful. We become part of His family and we share in His beauty. And he generously gave us the Eucharist so we can share in His beauty more fully here on earth.
We are made beautiful through the relationship we share with Christ. And we are made more beautiful every day that we not only give our love to Christ but also to each other. You see, Christ taught us that we should not be looking for the love of beauty. We should be looking for the beauty of love. The Trinity models this love for us and their love is what brings about their beauty. Christ modeled this love for us during His life on earth. He loved us and His Father with every ounce of His being. His love made Him radiate an inner beauty that conquered death which brought beauty back to the world and the people He and His Father loved. And with every small ounce of love we give Him and give each other, He abundantly shares His beauty with us.
After reading the article, I definitely had a clearer understanding of the beauty in the vision. We are beautiful in the garden because Christ makes us beautiful. He waters us with His love and shines His beautiful light on our faces. He carefully prunes us and showers us with hope so that we may become stronger and more beautiful every day. He allows the rain to wash the dust off so we may soak up as much of His light as we can. He planted us all in His garden so that we can not only love Him and place our lives in His hands, but also love and share with each other as well. And He brings others to the garden so that they may see our beauty. And He hopes that we will tell them all about the one who makes us beautiful so that they may want to grow in His garden too.