BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
Sit still…..Relax…….Do not rush………
Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……
Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….
Take a moment. Bless your day. Let your day Bless you……Take another moment. Bless your world. Let your world bless you……
Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good…….Now from the depth of heart, wish your mind well……
Now I invite you to consecrate this day and all that come with this day….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..
I pray for you and I pray for all, who, at this moment, are receiving the gift of this new day! May God bless you and keep you safe in the center of His Love!
I invite you to pray for each other and for all, who, at this moment, are receiving the gift of this new day!
Our last meditation was on being on being graced…on being healed, formed, shaped and transformed by God’s Grace. Being transformed by Grace is not a one time, dramatic act. It is a lifelong process of being forgiven, healed, formed, shaped and transformed. It involves many experiences of sin and failure and forgiveness and grace. It means a lifelong process of growing in faith and hope and love….growing in Christ.
Two of the most basic principles of any growth are “grounding and movement”. A tree has to be grounded, put its roots deep into the earth and put out branches…..
We have to have one foot firm on the ground and move the other to make a journey.
Physical rootedness in a place is not a recurring image of the people of God in their history of salvation. In fact the image is to the contrary. They are a people on the move, marching to the Promised Land. But rootedness as a basic and fundamental attitude of trust in God, of linking and anchoring, of basic security and of unbreakable communion as essential to spiritual life, is a constant theme in the Holy Scriptures.
“Abide in me and I in you. Unless you abide in me you will not bear much fruit.” says Jesus. “O Lord you are my rock and my salvation”, cries the Psalmist. Peter expresses his refusal to waiver in his decision when asked “will you also go away” and says “To whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life.”
Paul invited the Philippians to be fellow-imitators of Christ (Philippians 3:17 – 4:1). He also encouraged them to be aware of those whose lives were scandalous and not follow them because “our citizenship is in heaven”. Paul was saying to them that they must never forget that they are citizens of heaven and that their conduct must match their citizenship. Remember who you are! You are fellow citizens with the saints!
He instructed them to “stand fast in the Lord”. The meaning of “Stand Fast” as Paul uses is like the soldier “standing fast” in battle with the enemy surging down upon him.
Be strong! Stand fast in the Lord! Be rooted and growing in the Lord! This means that we must be…….
- Rooted in divine love……
- Rooted in the solid spiritual heritage and tradition of our church, our faith community.
- Rooted in our own unique cultural expressions of faith.
Rooted in our family traditions.
Rooted in our own personal God-experience.
Rooted in our own understanding of God’s will and purpose for us.
We must be grounded, rooted. But we must also move on, go beyond….
To go beyond is a call for transcendence at every moment of our life. It is a call to a leap to do God’s will in every moment of one’s life. Everything is an expression of God’s provident care, justice, mercy, compassion and love.
We are called to go beyond routine ways of doing and being which produce no life, no inspiration, no spark of the divine to ways of genuine living, of truthful acceptance of self, to ways of freshness, vigor and vitality, of spiritual youthfulness.
We are called to go beyond hurts, resentments, wounds, and experience the new lease of life in forgiveness, reconciliation. Human condition is graced by God, but it is also marred by sinful lapses of human beings.
We are to go beyond narrow loyalties, shared collective and individual prejudices, to universal embrace of love and openness. We have to admit honestly that a host of prejudices and narrow loyalties consciously or unconsciously color our perspectives, our attitudes.
We are called by Christ to proclaim the universal embrace of love that transcends all barriers of race, color, or nation. We are called to be sensitive to the needs, the feelings, the concerns and struggles of others and reach out in compassion.
We are called to go beyond our needs to the needs of others through delicate and sensitive attentiveness marked with cordiality, respect, and gentleness. The world of consumerism is bent on multiplying needs, creating needs and attending to them. In such a world we are called to simplify life, reduce our needs, especially the inessential ones and experience the joy of being free to attend to the needs of others.
We live in a busy and noisy world. We are called to go beyond doing things and being busy to silence, to reflective living, to cultivate solitude within. We called to develop a contemplative presence to the world around us. We are called to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking from within. Without silence and solitude, no one can hear what God says at any moment in time.
It is not enough to be silent and listening. There is a time for silence. But there is a time to break silence. We must respond to what we hear in silence, in the depth of solitude. We must act on what we come to know as truth, as virtue, as a call from God.
In Luke 9:28-36, we read the story of the transfiguration of Jesus. In the presence of Jesus, transfigured in glory, Peter, James and John felt secure, happy, at home. They felt they had reached the end of their journey and they were not ready to move on – they just wanted to stay in their experience of comfort, joy, security and glory. Jesus called them to move on and go down the mountain and attend to the needs of others as they proclaimed the good news of God’s love.
The real test of rootedness in God is the readiness to go beyond, to go to the land that He will show us. “He who wants to follow me,” says Jesus, “must deny himself take up his cross and follow me.”
We are called to go beyond our selfish and sinful tendencies, our pleasures and comfort to see and act as God sees and acts.
Keeping faith alive means………
We must be rooted in Christ and we must move in His Spirit.
May the “Year of Faith” be God’s wonderful gift to you and I pray that you will make it a gracious and joyful gift to others.
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs