Saturday, October 28, 2006


The Blessed Virgin Mary

Posted on the 6th Day of the 29th Week of Ordinary Time - 2006 AD - (Year B)

When my daughters were small, I used to play hide and seek with them. Invariably they would hide somewhere in plain view, as it were. They would try to hide under bed sheets, but with their legs sticking out. Or behind a door, but with a hand holding the door shut. Or simply sit there with hands over their eyes, thinking that because they couldn't see me, then I must not be able to see them. And of course, being the type of dad who didn't want to spoil their fun too quickly, I would pretend not to see them. Would stomp around for a while to build the anticipation and excitement before eventually 'discovering' them in their 'hiding' places. Good fun. For them and me!

I am still very much like my daughters were at that age, but I'm getting better I hope. I think many people are. It is as if, just because we aren't getting hit between the eyes, every minute of every day, by religious experience, then somehow, God isn't watching us. Or we acknowledge that God 'sees all, knows all' but feel that it must be a bit like looking at the world from space. You can 'see all' but can't really make out the details. Or really that there is so much going on in the world that God can't possibly be focussed specifically on us, all of the time. Can He?

Well, the answer to that question is an emphatic 'Yes'. I find a useful way to look at it is like this: God created me, alone, for Himself. It's just that He created everyone else, alone, for Himself also. We have to see that God does not have human limitations. He can and does focus continuous, unbroken, intimate, detailed attention of every one of us, at all times, without cease, as if we were the only one in existence. This fact should inform our behaviour, but often it doesn't.

I heard two things, from unrelated sources, today which emphasize this aspect of our Faith. One was: "God is nearer to you than you are to yourself." The other was that one of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises involved, visualising our Lord as being with you at all times. For example: sitting next to you when you drive to work, walk down the street, talk to your kids etc.

God indeed knows us better and is closer to us than we are to ourselves. This should be a powerful source of humility for us, informing all of our actions and thoughts.

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