One night, as I walked through the parking lot to enter the grocery store, I noticed this young man getting his little girl out of the car. She was about 1 year. Rather than walking into the store, he stood and held her.
And I realized that’s what God is trying to give to us every moment of every day.
With all reverence, the account of the Transfiguration is one of those scriptures that leaves me chuckling. “Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep” (Luke 9:32). Those three are always asleep at the most crucial moments! They fall asleep at the Transfiguration; they fall asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Luke 9:12 we hear they were tired, wanting to send everyone home and call it a night. They would have missed the miracle of feeding the 5000!
Is being in the presence of God enough to keep us awake?
There’s that tone of voice that seems void of all affection. And the words seem particularly chosen to imply she thinks she knows what I think or know. As the conversation progresses, it becomes clear she’s been talking to the others (although not acknowledging so). I can remember a time when we were younger, that we could be open with one another. No misperceptions or fears about how the other might interpret what is said. Now the opposite: I can’t say anything without it being misconstrued in a crazy way. Or turned into gossip by her. I want to love her, but I can’t even talk to her without feeling manipulated, mistreated and upset. Plus knowing the deep pain in her heart makes me want to help her all the more.
And we remain in a stalemate.
Turbulent times are unsettling, and we bring this unsettled state into our prayer as well. This is when St. Ignatius of Loyola’s approach to prayer can be very helpful. In the Spiritual Exercises, he recommends placing ourselves into the Gospel scene with the help of our five senses…
We all have bittersweet memories, those memories which were of good times but now due to life circumstances have a taint of bitter to them. This typically comes with the death of someone dear to us or a break in a relationship with another person, but it can also be a challenge to one’s own identity—a looking back at youthful dreams which now in later years of life will likely never be fulfilled.