Friday, August 24, 2007

Fig Tree Moments

Still thinking about Nathanael and that fig tree. A homily a few weeks ago reminded me that lots of people have their "fig tree moments" of encounter with God, but they hardly ever talk about them. I mean, a lot of people tell me about theirs, but I am a nun, so people are more open to sharing spiritual experiences. They probably don't say these things around the water cooler. That can lead people to believe that such experiences in prayer are limited to saints or to extraordinary people. But judging from what others have told me, it's more common than you might think.
After I tell you about one of my fig tree moments, I invite you to share yours in the comments for our mutual edification (and to praise and thank God for his goodness to all of us).
About twenty years ago I was in the Virgin Islands for a mission trip with another sister. We were staying at a convent on Frederiksted. It was like a large, split-level home, and the room designated as the chapel was lovely and airy, with louvered windows and lots of light. The one thing it didn't have was a tabernacle. But we gamely tried to make a go of it for our prayer time, using the kneelers that faced the altar. During my prayer, I got the distinct sensation--the kind you get when you begin to realize that you are not alone in a room. It was coming from my right side, at about a "two o'clock" position. The only thing there was a sort of ceramic planter on a small table. But the feeling of "someone" being just at that geographic location was too strong to ignore. I turned to my companion and whispered, "I think I know where the Blessed Sacrament is." Then I walked toward the planter. It was shaped like a castle, and, yes, there was a plant growing happily from one of the turrets. Took me a while to figure it out, but when I lifted the entire thing, there was a ciborium "inside" the castle.
For a long time, I have tried to "reason" this experience out, crediting that "feeling" to an intuition or subconscious recognition of the "castle" as a tabernacle, but a few years ago I realized that this sort of reductive thinking was not very pleasing to the Lord who had been so good as to make his personal, living presence felt so strongly. So now I offer it as a "fig tree moment" in witness to God's ongoing willingness to communicate himself to us.
What sort of things have happened under the fig trees in your life?


Anonymous said...

Sic transit Gloria mundi...Deo Gratias. spqr

Anonymous said...

I think I had a fig tree moment, but my humility keeps me from revealing it to anyone. harv2

xaipe said...

As long as you glorify God for it... St. Ignatius said that persuading us to be "humble" about graces received can be one of the enemy's ploys to keep us from giving God credit for much of His action in our lives. This is not simply because we are not proclaiming God's grace aloud, but in a way because it keeps us from taking that grace seriously ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Fig Tree moments could probably be assigned the name of my experience. It was in church and for a few moments I felt "overshadowed" by the Holy Sprit. Does that qualify? Neil

Kathy Smith said...

Pure Grace-the prescence we already recognize and know on a deeper and familiar level. We know already who is along side us guiding and reassuring us along the path we are meant to travel- never alone. Our companion and support nudging us lovingly along-never overbearing mostly anoymonous.The perfect parent and perfect love. Kathy S.