"There are many more ideas and mental images in our memory than there are stars in the sky or drops of water in the ocean ... " - Saint Lawrence of Brindisi
Wow. More ideas than "stars in the sky"? More images than "drops of water in the ocean"? Unfathomable. Incomprehensible. Indescribable. According to a Google search, there are 100 BILLION stars in our galaxy, and at least 7 SEPTILLION (that's 7 followed by 24 zeros!) drops of water in the Atlantic Ocean. Each of our memories holds much more than that. How can we possibly understand that?
Our memories take in so much, process so much, retain so much, catalogue so much. Yet sometimes we are just left speechless and in awe when we consider the magnitude of this concept.
To continue the words of Saint Lawrence, "The mind is truly a voice and work of God!"
If you were infested with the 17-year cicadas in June, then you know about leaf damage in your trees. As the wind blows or the branch dries up, the clump of leaves falls to the ground. With so many clumps to collect from the yard, a "leaf bouquet" is rapidly created. But as soon as you discard the bouquet, one more clump falls to the ground. So you begin again to create another leaf bouquet.
Isn't this just like life? We become "dried up" due to sin. We "fall" because our accumulated sin deadens us. We are "picked up" through the sacrament of Confession. We are transformed from "clumps of sin" into a beautiful "bouquet".
But then it starts all over again.
With the worldwide onslaught of devastating losses as a result of chaotic weather patterns, recent tragic events caused by anger, violence and hatred, and groundbreaking election outcomes due to the desire for change, an excerpt from today's meditation in the Living Faith booklet is worth pondering.
When I am faced with personal suffering or a sense of hopelessness in the face of so much violence and hatred in the world, I am tempted to believe God does not care. If I give voice to my feelings of frustration in prayer and then sit in silence, I can see more clearly what is in my control and what is not. Even more importantly, I realize it is not God's indifference that has
caused the problem but mine.
Lord God, with your help, change my outlook.
A few weeks ago I cut my brown daffodil leaves down to about 3 inches from the ground. A few days ago I noticed that the dried-up 3 inch stalks were no longer there. Where did they go? Why didn't I see them going away? It made me think of Genesis 3:19 that says "For you are dust, and to dust you shall return." How many times do we look but don't see? There one day and gone the next. Do we take the time to truly see all that the Creator has provided for us? Are we mindful of even the dust?
Did you hear the story about how PBS interspersed footage of fireworks displays from past years into the live coverage on Monday night's telecast of "A Capitol Fourth"? The weather in Washington D.C. was cloudy and foggy, so their intent was to create the "best possible viewing experience" for the viewers by showing clear, gorgeous fireworks instead of a soupy, smoke-filled display. Their decision created a frenzy on social media because we, the viewers, were deceived.
Why the frenzy? You've never deceived anyone, or yourself? We color our hair so that no one knows that we have gray hair. We wear "cover-up clothes" so that no one notices the bulge around our waist. We tell "white lies" so that we can keep that birthday party a surprise. We skip saying grace before meals so that no one knows that we're Catholic. We say we are "fine" when we are having the worst day of our life. We convince ourselves that our deception has a legitimate intent. But we know the truth, and God knows us. "Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all." (Psalm 139:4)
We repent, we forgive, we believe.
“Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11) Be still. Have you ever been so captivated in your thoughts, in your prayer, or in your work that you were totally unaware of everything around you? It seemed as though there was no noise. No sound. No distractions. You moved your mouth, but you said nothing. The Holy Spirit uttered the words that came from deep within you. And all listened. In silence. In absolute, desolate silence. Be still, and let the Holy Spirit move through you.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."