Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Revisiting the Hallway

On monastic retreats, I've loved being in my tiny cell - alone with God yet aware of the silent presence of others. I am with God, others are with God, and we are all connected.  A long hallway links us together.

As one who wants to live for God in the cell of my heart, I am grateful for everyone who is doing likewise. I do not know each person in every other 'cell,' but I can stop and remind myself that they… that you… are there.

Ours is the hallway of the Church. Our hearts are each part of a multitude of 'cells,' part of the vast and ageless Communion of Saints. 

Our hallway is not limited by geographical location. It is wide and vast and stretches even beyond the ages, connecting us to all in the Communion of Saints in ways we can scarcely grasp.

How do I, in everyday life, enter the hallway?  Certainly I do so by my participation in the Sacraments. I may also be involved in the life of my parish, of my diocese.  Perhaps I'm part of a prayer group or Bible study. Maybe I share faith through the Internet. Perhaps I homeschool, or teach CCD, and hopefully I share God's love freely with my family and friends. Even if I can't get out and about (perhaps due to physical limitations), I can actively 'enter the hallway' by praying for others, maybe offering my trials and sufferings as prayer.

The truth is: there is a door into the hallway for every single one of us. 

I pray that we will find, and turn, the knob. 

'The children of the world are all separated one from another because their hearts are in different places; but the children of God, having their heart where their treasure is, and all having only one treasure which is the same God, are consequently always joined and united together.'  (St. Francis de Sales)

'If St. Paul exhorts us to pray for one another, and we gladly think it right to ask every poor man to pray for us, should we think it evil to ask the holy saints in heaven to do the same?'  (St. Thomas More) 

'Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.... Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.  Let them look up, and see no longer me, but only Jesus! ... Let me preach You without preaching, not by my words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You.'  (John Henry Cardinal Newman)

'Do not think of the poor as only those with no money.  Look at each person's needs.  Perhaps you are well off in something when someone else is in need of just that.'  (St. Augustine)

Reconciled To You and Theology Is A Verb  


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