Thursday, October 10, 2013


It's rather different being at the motherhouse. For one thing, the room I am using doesn't have Internet access--and even cell phone reception is pretty spotty on this side of the building. (The room does have a jack labeled "modem" but unless you are a certain age, you don't even know what a modem is!) I have to remember to carry the computer to a wifi zone (or ethernet jack!) in order to do anything beyond Twitter or email. Hence the blog silence. As it is, I am typing this up in the guest room and hope I will remember to transport the computer downstairs to actually post it. And the Mass readings have been, well, spectacular; there is so much to share in them, when I see my computer on the desk at night, I really feel that lack of easy access.

Take today's selections, for instance: in the first reading, people are wondering what good it is to be devout. After all, God makes the sun shine on good and bad alike; in fact, it seems like the unscrupulous are better off! What benefit is there in being particularly religious? (God says, "Wait and see...") In the Gospel, Jesus doesn't address the question directly, but encourages perseverance in prayer with a little parable of an insistent neighbor and the wonderful exhortation: Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock (like that neighbor!) and the door will open up before you: Wait and see!

But it can be wearisome to "wait and see" when our
need is pressing upon us here and now. That's where the Gospel leads us further on. "What father among you would give his son a scorpion when he asks for an egg? Or a snake when he asks for a fish? As wicked as you are (!), you know how to give your children what is good..."

I'm thinking here of de Caussade's concept of "the sacrament of the present moment." Like any of the other sacraments, it doesn't exactly seem to fit the bill: the Eucharistic species, for example: sure, it is bread of a very particular sort, but it doesn't meet my definition of a "supper," cup or no cup. And yet it surpasses every definition. It's a matter of recognition--and a recognition that is founded on awareness of the goodness and infinite creativity of God. So, too, the present moment. It can bring an unsuspected good--because even if I am suffering through it, I can discover communion with the One who drank the cup of suffering to the dredges for me. The present moment becomes transubstantiated: no longer merely my pain; it is his-in-me. And how much more in the ordinary, undramatic things of life.

More wisdom from Teresa "the Big Flower" of Avila.
I remember a passage from Teresa of Avila, where she was bemoaning her long life on earth. She (like Paul) longed to "dissolve and be with Christ." And the Lord said to her, "That's all well and good. But then I will no longer be able to share these little things with you: to eat in/with you and rest in/with you and converse in and through you." The most forgettable moments of life--these, too, were revealed as communion with God; the overflowing of the gift of the Holy Spirit: "How much more will your Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask! Wait and see!"

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