Eyes to See–Solemnity of the Annunciation Reflection

see filename

see filename (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:35-38

 Today in the Church calendar we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day when the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary she would bear a child and the child “will be called holy, the Son of God.”  This is the day that we celebrate the announcement of the in-breaking of God into our world, of God becoming human.

Karl Rahner proposes that all reality is structured symbolically—signs of grace are to be found everywhere if one has ‘eyes to see’.”[1]  Because of God becoming one of us, this in-breaking of God in our world, is the way we not only see signs of grace, but become them as well.  If we have the “eyes to see” the reality of another person, to be fully present and in the moment with each person, then we can experience, like Mary, an in-breaking of God in our world, a sign of Grace to those we encounter.

Hospitality is one of the core elements of the Gospel. To be truly hospitable is to be open to the other in a way that the other person has an effect on your own life and practice. This is much more than the comfortable cup of tea, this is being fully present to those before me. When we take opportunities to see the moments we are in today as moment that God gives us as opportunities to break through in our world again, then we are truly becoming much more hospitable.

  • What are ways in which we can be more fully present to those before us?
  • How do we increase hospitality in our communties?
  • Where do we see today where God is trying to break into our reality, but he is waiting for us to have “eyes to see”?  Are we able to say “May it be done unto me according to your Word.”

[1] Mary Catherine Hilkert, Naming Grace: Preaching and the Sacramental Imagination (New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1996). 34

Untie Him and Let Him Go– Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent

Lazarus come forth

Lazarus come forth (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

[1]     Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu, trans., Bernard Wall, First Perennial Classics ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 2001). 27.

[2]     Ibid., 30-31.

For the sleeping God may wake someday…Prayer & Lent


Prayer (Photo credit: Chris Yarzab)

“Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

During the Season of Lent, we are invited each day to go deeper into Prayer.  Not only the prayer of words, but a prayer of presence and listening.  One that permeate our being, and changes lives.  Prayer is often comforting and healing, it can also be a powerful and compelling presence that leads us down unanticipated paths. The word prayer rises from the same Latin root as the word precarious. Author Annie Dilliard wrote about the dynamic, uncertain nature of prayer:

“It is madness to wear ladies straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping God may wake someday and take offense or the waking God may draw us out to where we can never return.”

Prayer can lead us out to precarious edges where God opens our hearts and transforms our lives in unexpected ways. Do we begin and end our days with prayer, do we begin our meetings with prayers. During Lent we are asked to see prayer as  the rhythm of life that sustained our communities that is marked by constant prayer. Prayer is essential dialogue for the path of transformation, healing and peace. If we are to go deeper this Lent, then prayer must continue to be a visible presence of our lives and our communities.

**How, when and where do I pray? Does my prayer include at least as much listening as talking? How can I incorporate prayer more visibly in my life?