Then the just will ask him: “Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you drink? When did we welcome you away from home or clothe you in your nakedness? When did we visit you when you were ill or in prison?” The King will answer them: “I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”
[Matthew 25, 37-40]
Which person who has some experience of spiritual matters would desire that an angel come from heaven in order to make known God’s will, when it is possible to know it by following the ordinary way?… God does not have to give an account to anybody of His actions. If His Majesty wants to use an ordinary, simple and uneducated person – yea, a sinner; if God wants to make this person turn toward Him in view of a special work; if God does not take the direction which people think He usually follows. In all this His Majesty is completely free and nobody is entitled to disapprove God’s actions, let alone oppose them.
-T. J. Ryken
To rediscover our true place is to come to more fully realize that we are the beloved of God, but we are not God. From this perspective we understand that we are not masters of our world but servants of God’s world. We are not to spend our lives, as the builders of the Tower of Babel, in service of our own fantasies (including our spiritual fantasies) but rather in service of Reality. Thus, to turn toward God is to turn away from the fantastic and the extraordinary and to embrace the “reality principle,” to embrace the world as it actually is and to offer ourselves in service to its call. As Noel Dermot O’Donoghue states: “The human being is of her very nature open to reality not only as cognitive of reality but as responsive to it.” In Matthew 25 we see that “the just” served the Lord without recognizing him, but only recognizing the appeal for their response in the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, ill, and imprisoned. The present moment is always making an appeal to our unique life call. When we live from our own true place, we are in a position to turn our minds and our hearts to the world that appeals for God’s love and presence as it can only uniquely be manifested by ourselves in this actual circumstance. “In all this His Majesty is completely free and nobody is entitled to disapprove God’s actions, let alone oppose them.”
The choice presented to us is that of being present and open to the real world in each moment or of being closed to it. The contemplative stance in the world is one that is directed not toward ourselves and our illusory identity but toward the truth of what is before us. As John Dunne, CSC states: “If one could only step into oneself and be oneself (be put in one’s place), then the self would disappear from in front of one and the world would open up; one would pass from the introspective life into the contemplative life.”
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT REFLECTION
“Your presence, O LORD, I seek. Hide not your face from me.” Our Sunday reflection has been prepared by Mary Driscoll of Malden Catholic.
Find it here: http://wp.me/p36Kiu-i4.
Each Tuesday we share a Xaverian Brother’s story on Living the Charism. This upcoming week (Feb. 26) we remember Bertin Manning, C.F.X. “Bertin was also a man who suffered. His physical sufferings extended over most of his adult life, and he dealt with them as he dealt with everything else: quietly, without complaint or self-pity.”
FINDING GOD IN THE WORLD [VIDEO]
On Thursday, we’ll post a short video with Brother Dominique Olando. He talks about the difficulty of turning toward God in a world that is filled with suffering. Each Thursday we’ll post a video related to our weekly Theme.