Waiting for God

giovanni_battista_tiepolo_096If you want God, and long for union with him, yet sometimes wonder what that means or whether it can mean anything at all, you are already walking with the God who comes.  If you are at times so weary and involved with the struggle of living that you have no strength even to want him, yet are still dissatisfied that you don’t, you are already keeping Advent in your life.  If you have ever had an obscure intuition that the truth of things is somehow better, greater, more wonderful than you deserve or desire, that the touch of God in your life stills you by its gentleness, that there is a mercy beyond anything you could ever suspect, you are already drawn into the central mystery of salvation.

Your hope is not a mocking dream; God creates in human hearts a huge desire and a sense of need, because he wants to fill them with the gift of himself.  It is because his self-sharing love is there first, forestalling any response or prayer from our side, that such hope can be in us.  We cannot hope until we know, however obscurely, that there is something to hope for; if we have had no glimpse of a vision, we cannot conduct our lives with vision.  And yet we do:  there is hope in us, and longing, because grace was there first.  God’s longing for us is the spring of ours for him.

The opening paragraphs from “The Coming of God,” by Maria Boulding, OSB



The Pastoral Prayer

Lord, look at my soul’s wounds.
Your living and effective eye sees everything.
It pierces like a sword, even to part asunder soul and spirit.

Assuredly, my Lord, you see in my soul
the traces of my former sins,
my present sins,
my present perils,
and also motives and occasions for others yet to be. Continue reading

A New View of Christmas

childOver the swinging parapet of my arm
Your sentinel eyes lean gazing. Hugely alert
In the pale unfinished clay of your infant face,
They drink light from this candle on the tree.
Drinking, not pondering, each bright thing you see,
You make it yours without analysis
And, stopping down the aperture of thought
To a fine pinhole, you are filled with flame.

Give me for Christmas, then, your kind of seeing,
Not studying candles – angel, manger, star –
But staring as at a portrait, God’s I guess,
That shocks and holds the eye, till all my being,
Gathered, intent and still, as now you are,
Breathes out its wonder in a wordless yes.

— Bishop John V. Taylor (1914-2001)