“There’s no place to go to find God and no place not to go…Everyday life is where God is most active and where holiness is to be found. As Jesus Christ said, ‘the Kingdom of God is within you.’ Luke 17:21”
Fr Thomas Keating
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
The total eclipse in Eastern Oregon—a once in a life time event. Many people prepared for years to come here, or to other locations which were in the path of the totality. I spent fifteen months planning how Meg and I and our sons and their wives would view it. I scouted locations, organized gear and food for six people, developed contingency plans in case of clouds or fire.
As the moon began slowly to erase the sun, we waited in awe and wonder at what was in store for us. The air grew chilly, the light dimmed, a planet shone in the sky, 360 degrees of sunset surrounded us. Then came a deeply hushed silence followed by joyful shouts as the sun vanished and only its corona shone forth.
I thought about this unique life event during the week and I experienced an epiphany. Each of us, no matter where in the world we live, will know such a unique event. Not to be morbid, but to be joyful—we will die, leave our finite, worn out bodies, and be joined with the Lord through Jesus Christ. His love will shine beyond any darkness we have experience, and His gentle, loving light will invite us into His eternal Presence.
sun gradually gone
world chills, sunset comes, darkness
yet light still remains
For those of you who have followed my earlier posts this week, you know that Meg and I celebrated our upcoming fiftieth wedding anniversary by inviting our sons and their wives to join us on Dooley Mt in Baker County to camp and watch the solar eclipse. We enjoyed many memorable moments, highlighted, of course, by the total eclipse itself.
Our location gave us one of the longer times of totality in Oregon—2 minutes and 4 seconds. Nonetheless, what seemed like an eternity of build up was over way too soon.
I had expected to be overwhelmed by totality. Yet, the sudden drop in temperature as totality approached remains an equally vivid memory It reminded me of our deep dependence on the sun’s warmth, and the consequences of its loss.
And I thought as well of our dependence on the Son’s Presence. Without Him, our lives lack focus and assurance and deep peace, comfort, and strength. The sun sustains us physically; the Son sustains us spiritually and emotionally.
And I also realized the deep meaning of light in the darkness. Even though the moon covered the sun’s disc, the bright corona still remained visible. The sun light, and Son light cannot be overcome!
“I am yours for all eternity. I am the Alpha and the Omega; the one who is and was and is to come. The world you inhabit is one of constant change—more than your mind can absorb without going into shock. Even the body you inhabit is changing relentlessly, in spite of modern science’s attempts to prolong life and youth indefinitely. I, however, am the same yesterday and today and forever.
Because I never change, your relationship with Me provides a rock solid foundation for your life. I will never leave your side. When you move on from this life to the next, My Presence beside you will shine brighter with each step. You have nothing to fear, because I am with you for all time and throughout eternity.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 26 They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. 27 But you are always the same; you will live forever. Psalm 102:25-27
“Say you are in the country, in some land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down into some dale, and leaves you there by some pool or stream. There is magic in it….Yes as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” Herman Melville
“God the sculptor of the mountains; God the miller of the sands. God the jeweler of the heavens; God the potter of the lands. You are womb of all Creation. We are formless, shape us now.” John Thornburg
“Let your mercy shine upon evil.” St Teresa of Avila
“We must understand that we are capable of any evil and that only God is our strength. Only God can protect us from the evil we might do if we were placed in circumstances of enormous suffering and tragedy….Humility is the right relationship to God. It is at the same time total dependence on God and invincible hope in God’s infinite mercy.” Fr. Thomas Keating
It is easy to be distracted with our unhappiness over the current politics in the United States. We blame the President for our ills, and forget that we too commit small acts of unkindness consistently every day. More than ever before, we must let go of anger and engage in distinct, continuing acts of mercy and compassion to those around us.
“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29
Not only does God breathe with the sparrow, but the butterfly as. How infinite and eternal is God’s goodness, love and tenderness for us? I often wonder why I can be so forgetful of the delicate way God holds His Creation. His Presence never falters, despite the storms of life.