Sunday, May 29, 2011

Listening to the Holy Spirit

Readings for May 29, 2011, Sixth Sunday of Easter:

Sixth Sunday of Easter 2011

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
May 1, 2011

As Jesus prepared His disciples for His physical absence, He gave them two assurances. First, He promised they would eventually be with Him in the eternal realm, or we may add in the real reality of heaven. Jesus said. "In my Father's house are many rooms, if it were not so, would I have told you I go to prepare a place for you?" Yet at the same time He assured them that they would experience His presence in the world. He would be present with them through His Spirit, and not only "with" them. but "in" them as well. Jesus said, "You will realize that I AM in the Father and you are in Me and I in you." What does this mystical sounding language mean?

I've been reading of late in an attempt to fill in the blanks, so to speak. For example, how can the horrific acts of human kind be used by God to further His Mission in the world. The Passion of His Son taking the lead. How can so Horrific an act of Cruelty contain in it Salvation for the whole world? Of course you and I know that the missing blank is LOVE.

In one sense, it's like great music, it isn't just the notes, it's the space between the notes, or in our written or spoken words the spacing gives body to the words. It's also something like the texting we sometimes receive from or young people, and as everything runs together that at least mentally we have to put in the spacing to make any sense of the message. Proof of this came to light one day when a young lady was applying for a job and the manager called her in to inform her that she wasn't to get the job but felt it necessary to tell her why. He said, you do not fill out an application forms using what you call texting. You want to guess why? Without the spacing the written material was left wanting and therefore incomplete.

My mediation of late has been of the space, what is there that isn't there. Maybe a better way of saying it is, what is there that we don't see but have to perceive. What does my Agnes now see that we can only perceive. It's also like when we ask the little ones about God. Who made you?, God did! Where is God?, God is every where! Where is Heaven?, where God is! We may add, God is in His heaven and all is well! So what is our problem? Simply our inability to see! Plus, the space in all of this is Eternity: so beyond our imagination to perceive, that an unending eternity will not be able to fill the space, between what we see and what we can perceive.

There is a story of a man who became blind at the age of 8. Being born in 1924 in France, he became active in the revolt against the Nazi occupation. Finally arrested by the Nazis and sent to Buchenwald - and of two thousand prisoners, he was one of thirty to survive. After the war he was a university professor until his death in 1971. In his memoir titled, "And there was Light," he explains the trauma of losing his sight: and then to find a magnificent reality. He assumed he would never see again, and then he discovered that what he had lost was of practical significance only. For he said: "I discovered inside myself everything which others described between objects. Everything was there, and movement as well." He said that when he said "within us," or "within me" he was not referring to a form, such as a shell or husk, with a space inside. Speaking of his own inner world, he said, "Things are there without space." Is that possible? he was asked. "How could I explain it to you? I hardly know what it is, myself. I know simply that things are there, are present without having to attribute to them a particular position in the world."

He goes on to say of the ultimate discovery within himself. "Having become blind," he wrote, "I had (already) discovered enchanted worlds within myself. I think you've felt them as well," he said. Then, "one beautiful day I recognized that it was not something I had fabricated, but that in fact it had all been given to me. And given by someone....who was very much inside of me, but who in another sense...was not me." Concerning this someone, he said, "linear space had no meaning whatsoever." He identified that someone as God, "that fountainhead at the bottom of us: I have called it someone watching deep within, also joy. Perhaps it is exactly the same thing," he said.

This story could be retold about most of us, using different terms, but the reality would come out the same. That space in our inner being is the voice of God. Cardinal Suenens once wrote, "I believe in the surprises of the Holy Spirit. The story of the Church is a long story, filled with the wonders of the Holy Spirit. Why should we think that God's imagination and love might be exhausted?"

Can you not see then, how important it is to see in the spaces of our lives a reality that causes us to search out the will of God. For it is in the spaces that we find time to hear the Holy Spirit giving direction in our lives of Faith!

This should be considered only the beginning of our mediation on space, for most can be learned by filling in the empty space in our lives. And therefore join the angles and saints in making beautiful music for the Lord. Instilling in us true happiness which come from God. A happiness that gives us the knowledge of who we really are in Christ Jesus. A knowledge of Love that cause us to Love God, to Serve God, knowing that we are to be with Him for all eternity. Amen.
'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.

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