SOUL FOOD for Hungry Adult Communities: July 28th 2013: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year of St. Luke.
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13.
‘You don’t have to go far to find God’, said Simone Weil, ‘just notice things!’
When I go for a morning walk on the country lanes around Esker Monastery, I love to notice things. When I see a bird hedge-hopping, I say ‘Our Father’, for the bird and
myself. I touch grasses leaning into my path and say ‘Our Father’ with them too. The cattle or the sheep in the fields looking suspiciously at me, make me say ‘Our Father’. All of nature, all creation is praying ‘Our Father’, but we humans are the only ones with words to say it out loud. And if I sit a while on a bench, it takes just a few seconds before the tiniest of insects catch my eye, scurrying across the ground beneath my feet,- and together we can sing ‘Our Father’.
‘Our’ is bigger than you and me and our fellow humans. The word belongs to the planet and the stars, the galaxies and the black holes of space. It belongs to sub-atomic particles, and the waters of the oceans. ‘Our’ is a cosmic word.
And ‘Father’ means the creator, the source, the origin, the mystery behind everything that so marvellously IS. ‘God’ is a very small word for such a mystery beyond human comprehension. I would rather be an atheist than ‘believe’ in a small God. Our ‘small God’ makes atheists of thinking people. And yet, the ‘Father’ that Jesus teaches us about, the ‘Abba’ (‘Daddy’) that is everything that the best father could ever be,- that ‘Father’/Abba/Creator/ Maker of all is the One who made the daisies and the stars. ‘Father’ is a cosmic word, too.
For God’s sake, get rid of a narrow God!
Look at creation, look at the smallest thing in science, look at the millions of galaxies, embrace the little and the large, and then live and breathe and move with a cosmic heart.
Prayer is when astonishment captivates the human person in mind and spirit. Then ‘hallowed’ will be the name, the very Person who is creator of the universe outside, and of the universe within each atom, -and of the universe within the infinity of the human heart as well.
If you can’t stand a narrow image or understanding of the mystery behind everything,- the One we speak of in three letters G O D, – that’s great! Thank you for being such an honest-to-God atheist. I’m one with you.
But if you are wowed by everything that so marvellously IS,- by the birth of a new baby, by a setting sun, by a wren in a bush, by the stars at night, by any thing that is,- and are magnetically drawn towards the heart of the mystery, and that it is all so much bigger than ourselves, then I’m with you there too.
A friend in the past few days resurrected a poem I wrote some few years ago,- and it has only six words. The title is ‘Issyness’ (my made-up word for Existence), and the intro, with tongue in cheek, is longer than the poem: ‘An ode to the Issyness of any one thing and the amazement consequent on a deep appreciation thereof.’
It IS !
In the face of ‘everything that so marvellously is’, maybe we can exclaim from deep within ‘Wow!’, and then bow: and then, with all creation and all my fellow creatures begin to word ‘OUR FATHER….!
Even those two words, alone, are the beginning of a life of living, wondrous prayer.
Thanks! Enjoy creation during this coming week! Be captivated by it all.
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R