Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sacred Space

Sacred Space  a website run by the Irish Jesuits. Enjoy the following then visit their site.

Something to think and pray about this week:

Imagine two little children looking up at the stars on a dark, clear night. One child says: “I bet you those stars are five miles away.” The other says: “No, they're not – they're ten miles away.”
The first child says: “Don't be stupid. If they were ten miles away you wouldn't be able to see them.” So they end up fighting over whether the stars are five miles or ten miles away. 

We can laugh at the children. But we adults also disagree and fight and rubbish one another - over our contradictory understandings of God! These children are trying to express a truth, on which they both agree, namely that the stars are a very, very long way away. Five miles or ten are hopelessly inadequate concepts to express how far away the stars really are. But they are the only concepts the children have, and they are doing their best to express a truth. The idea that would adequately express the reality – “quadrillions of miles” – is beyond their comprehension. 

Likewise, God is beyond our understanding. But like the children, we too make the mistake of trying to 'capture' God with our small minds. We claim that we know God, while we think that everyone who disagrees with us is wrong. In fact we can never know God: we must only search for God. To search for God is to acknowledge that we have not found him yet. Were we to stop searching, we might start claiming that we have found him and that we now understand him fairly well. And then of course we would miss God, who is too big to understand. 

So when we have differing views about God, let us disagree gracefully, and always be alert to the possibility that the other person or group may have caught on to a facet of God which we have missed. One thing we can hold fast: that God is the Giver of all the good things in our life. I try more now to notice these things and being with the poor and the un-gifted puts them into sharp relief. So I try to be grateful.

Sacred Space also offers a Lenten Retreat...follow as you can, when you can.

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