Archive for January, 2011

“…I can hear you thru the whine.”

This morning, via long distance telephone, I prayed with high school students at a Catholic high school in the Midwest.

Through my association with the Racine Dominicans, I was able to volunteer for this ministry. At 8:10 AM this morning, I called the school, and the school secretary put me on hold. At 8:15 AM promptly, I heard bells ringing, and she said I could begin.

I began by introducing myself, and mentioned how blessed I felt to be praying with them long distance from NYC.  For reflection, I began by noting that St. John of the Cross had once likened God to the sea, and St. Catherine of Sienna had once understood God as… the surrounding water that flows through and around us, as if we were fish, as if it sustained us, moving through our very gills.

Thinking of God as a powerful sea, into which we could either paddle or be brave and walk directly into, I quoted C. S. Lewis, reading:

“If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if God chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry.”  (from Mere Christianity)

I asked them to center themselves, and centered myself, and then prayed that we might all have the courage this day, and the heartfulness, to be willing to walk into the water, to take part in this marvelous drama and dance which God intends, even though our human nature can be fearful and long to remain tethered to the land. I thanked God that God intends such lively shared energy for us, and prayed that we might take part in it whole-heartedly.

Dear God, thank you for giving me an impulse in my heart that calls me to the sea. Forgive my most human cowardice, that keeps me tethered to the shore. Ignite in my heart a craving to come fully into you, to flourish in a sea of your grace, beyond and beyond what frail intentions I might have here on land.

Photo of the Bronx River, taken by Matt


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