I just love when, as I eat breakfast and read the paper, I get the start for the week's blog. This happened again this week, thank you God. The thought for the day was the following: “If a child is to keep alive his/her inborn sense of wonder, he/she needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him/her the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in" (Rachel Carson, Biologist).
We are in that time when resolutions are made. We tend to make resolutions that will enhance our physical well being; lose weight, go to the gym, take a walk, etc. etc. We will also take steps to be better organized, to be physically responsible, and the list can go on and on. How many of us will take to heart what Rachel said? Not only to take it to heart, but take concrete steps to actually do something about it. We all have that child within, who is in constant need of a source of encouragement so as to be able to continue it's journey into wonder. The child within each one of us is in the constant need of an encouraging presence, force, to enable it to achieve the intended goal for which it was created. Our prayer life, our spiritual health, demands a sense of wonder. If there is going to be the continued presence of art and science in our world, we must be aware wonder is the source of both. When was the last time, we made the cultivation of wonder, our New Year's resolution, if ever? We must make the conscious effort to be guided to see beyond the ordinary and the obvious to discover. There lies a great excitement in the discovery of the seeds of mystery in all that is . Whatever the reality, hidden waiting to be discovered, is mystery.
With those set of lenses, what a new year lies open before us. There will be no moment, and I repeat no moment, that will not have within it the on-going revelation of the mystery of God. We will have to have that person in our lives who posses that which enables us to speak the truth of our excitement. This is very much like the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth. So then, who is going to be the Elizabeth for your Mary? Who will be the one that you can trust to have the maturity to recognize the Sacred dwelling within you, and the life you have been given to live? Who will be the one you can take the words of the opening prayer of the Feast of The Holy Family to and explore all the depths of meaning contained in the following words; Teach us the sanctity of human love, show us the value the value of family life". What power-full words those words are.
We cannot be taught unless we allow the questions to surface. Others have asked the questions and have lead us to the greatest of gifts, the understanding of sacramentality of sexuality. As far back as the 13th Century, St. Thomas Aquinas saw the connection between the celebration of sexuality and prayer. We need to discover, anew, the sanctity, the grace filled action that is human love, and in its expression. Read again and again the Song Of Songs in the Old Testament, and be shocked, as so many have been shocked, at the imagery and the passion. We are told God's love for us is Eros. In the reading of The Song Of Songs keep in mind you are the one The Lover is seeking and searching for. Our final union with God in this life can only be expressed in the awe-full, wonder-full, out of this worlds experience of ecstatic love. That is the imagery which comes from St. Theresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross. Within the mystery of human love is perfectly hidden and revealed, The mystery of God, and His love for us. The ecstatic love experienced in human love is ultimately what on experiences in the soul with God. The joy of that union cannot be described only alluded to.
Let us all ask for a new set of lenses as we gaze upon family life. Within that which is so ordinary, so mundane, God choose to both hide and reveal His son, His revelation of who He is. For those who looked at the family of Mary, Joseph and their son Jesus what did they see? People who walked around with halos on their head? Did they not have to work in order to eat? There were no angels being sent with special food, for The son of God. Whatever food Mary was able to purchase at the local market, with what Joseph, and later Jesus, was able to earn is what The Infinite Son of God ate.
How ordinary, yet how extraordinary both human love and family life is. Both are sacraments, in the broad sense, in which the sacred, The Mystery, is both hidden and revealed. So when we are lost in boredom, it means we have lost the lenses God has provide us with. We are choosing to see through the lens of what is tangible, rather than that which is mystery. We are lead to grasp at that which is apparently real, only to find out it is an illusion. It will leave, it will change, it will not last. It is that which we receive from that which we cannot see, yet experience at our depths that stays with us and lasts forever.