Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Matter of Perspective, part deux

At dinner last night, one of our sisters said she wished we could sing Christmas music as long as we get to sing Easter music.

I agree. The music makes me joyful, as it should. It is the season of joy - the joy of knowing that God is here with us.

I recently read a fantastic piece by Sr. Ilia Delio titled Mercy and the Humility of God. In it she writes, "Yet, this is the mystery of Christmas — love bending low, so low as to be humble and hidden in the visible faces of you and me."

This means the way of love is the way of bending low so as to encounter humanity face-to-face, to come into communion with humanity face-to-face - as God did at Christmas.

Now, I have to admit, I am getting a bit worried that you all might be thinking that my blog is simply a way for me to post all the pictures that I take at the lake. Well, the truth is, the lake is such an important part of my spiritual life, a way for me to come into communion. So, I share that here in my writing. And this past week I came into communion in a big way.

About a month ago, I wrote about the perspective I had climbing a hill at the lake. Since then, winter has arrived in Erie, and getting to the top of hill has been a bit of a challenge. The other day as I approached the lake, I could barely even tell the water was there.


So, I got a bit closer...


And, a bit closer...


And, a bit closer yet...


Wham! Full communion with the lake! But, this couldn't have happened if I didn't get up close. While in that previous post I recognized the importance of a "wide view," recently I have been paying attention to the other side. As Benedict says, "Balance." I have been using this "up close" reflection the past few days as I ponder mercy and communion. 

As we move closer and closer into the circle of God's Love, the circle of mercy and relationship, we recognize that we cannot enter without others. But, often times, at least for me, that's hard to do when I don't get up close. As a human that means listening, forgiving, and touching, among other things.

As I begin to listen more and more to someone's story, as I practice forgiveness, and as I take someone's hand or give a hug, I practice mercy and build relationship. I do the work of Christmas.

Let us listen, forgive, and touch so that we might grasp in some way the mystery of Christmas. As Delio writes, "Only a humble God who bends so low to pitch it all away in love can heal us and make us whole."

Let us walk in the holy presence.