Yesterday was a very special day 13 May 13
I expected and wondered when the specialness would come. I wondered when the earth would move and shake me to my core. I wondered what giant thing would happen today, loudly, boldly unbelievably. I wondered what dramatic event would fall from the sky and insist on changing my world today. I wondered what miracle would refine me into renewed wonder. Would today I be taken poorly? Would today I die? Would a beautiful miracle engulf me? Would today that miracle have an impact so defining on my world that it would never be the same ever again? I waited and I waited and I expected and I hoped. And nothing appeared to happen out of the ordinary. Boo.
And then I am reminded of Kings 1 19:12 A still small voice – A gentle whisper – the sound of a gentle breeze.
To intimate, that God would do his work in and for Israel in his own time, not by might or power, but by his own spirit, Zech 4:6, which moves with a powerful, but yet with a sweet and gentle gale.
Last night I put the touch-lamp on its lowest setting behind the Jesus Aggemian portrait and climbed into bed. I do that sometimes. To have him there visible in the room with me is special. It is the most beautiful picture of Jesus’ face that I have ever found, and when I put the lamp on, a halo type light arcs above His forehead. So often my conscience talks to Him, and often so does my voice. His beautiful eyes respond to mine, in fact His whole face responds to me, His whole being to my being. You see it is an animated picture which appears to breathe. At times His expression changes with the slightest movement, at times He stays quite still holding me to His gaze. It’s almost as if His mind penetrates my mind and altars it. His face is serious and kind with expressive eyes which sometimes smile and play, His eyes sometimes ask and question and sometimes they demand answers. Sometimes it is as if He transfers His opinion in to me, even sometimes when it is a different opinion to the one I want. It really is a little madness quite beautiful.
I am currently reading a book called the The Teaching of the Twelve by Tony Jones. It contains the fairly recently discovered, ancient document of an early Christian community called the Didache community. This ancient document is thought to be written before the new testament. It is most basic but ‘spells out a way of life for Jesus followers, including how to love one another, how to practice the Eucharist, and how to take in wondering prophets’. The book also contains the authors reflections and his communications with a small band of people trying to live out their Christian lives in a new ‘Didache’ community. It’s very interesting, much more basic than the New Testament but evokes the timeless unchanging essence of Jesus’ message. A message which has often not been lived out by the people in authority that I Love.
I have prayed and thought a lot lately about women being welcomed and encouraged into a formal, beautiful, Sacred contemplative/active ministry within and supported by the Catholic Church. A formal and renewed way of being with Jesus and of living out His ministry, radiating outwards, without having to leave ones parish community and join an order away from parish life. The structure and the order and the way I have thought about much. But sometimes for me (who is in a far more impossible position than anyone else I know of in my diocese) it all seems like such a mountain to realise.
And so often because of this I think I should just live out the Charism on my own, and in a far lesser more dilute way I guess I already am beginning to. It is difficult living this alone, as a mother who often does the school run even basic blessings like praying morning prayer in my community are denied me, because the request for a time-change by 15 minutes could not be realised. Reading the daily office I have no guide or teacher or companion. I probably do it wrong. Poor school run mothers everywhere, what a blessing they are denied. The Charism I am dreaming, praying, hoping for involves living a happy, joyful, contemplative deeply prayerful, gentle and active ministry. Daily Mass and Eucharist and reading the daily office. Praying the rosary, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and thoughtful active care of the poorly, the broken and the homeless are all part of my vision. Reaching out to others in joyful Love. A vision emblazoned with the Love of the first two commandments.
- Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength;
- Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mary Magdalene loved our Lord with an example second to none. Her Love led her higher than any criticisms, or any mountains, or any barriers, and she was perfected in her virtues in following Him with her open and devoted Love. She truly Loved the Lord her God with her whole heart, and with her whole soul, and with her whole mind and with her whole strength. And He Loved her too. And that is what I want. That is what we can all have, even with each other. Love is not just a response. If we can learn to respond to everyone in love this is a great way of being (impossible 100% of the time for us flawed human beings maybe) but a special way to try and be. And then if we could go beyond this way, and learn to love in this way not as a response, but as our very innate way of being regardless, if we could Love in this beautiful way then we have cracked the ultimate way of living Heaven on earth. Once you can master this way of Love the response would evoke in others a response of love, but only when they are ready. And when they aren’t ready to respond in love, their response would not distort the higher Love that you are living because the Love that you are now living is of God. At this Graced point the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Each and every night I climb into bed Jesus looks into my eyes and I am wooed to consider again what He is asking of me.
I slept deeper tonight than I have slept in a long while.
I awoke this morning far later than usual, blood tests have shown that I am low on iron at present and so I am being more lenient with myself than I would usually be about leaving my bed. The school run today was taken care of, so I went slow. I thought I might skip Mass this morning, I sometimes think it might be good for me not to want Mass or the Eucharist every single day. But I do. Every Eucharist that I can possibly be a part of I want to. So I went. And today in tears of both sadness and joy, it was all so radiantly clear.
Love one another, as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends,
if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master’s business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me:
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you
to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you
is to love one another.’