Sunday, February 12, 2012

The God of Invitations

Yesterday was a wonderful morning. I was awake early, but feeling refreshed, so I thought I'd take advantage of the morning quiet, let my girls sleep, and get some work done on my blog. As I posted a while back, I repented of my use of the WYSIWYG editor in favor of actually typing up the HTML (so much better). I've been happy with the change (my blogs are SO much easier to edit now!), but there's a fair amount of work left before my blog is up to code.

So anyway, there I am, editing away, when I realize that I haven't said the Rosary in a little while, and now would be the perfect opportunity while the family is asleep to get some personal prayer time in. (Of course, by realize I mean that I was being called to go have a little relationship time with Jesus through Mary.)

Cool, I think, I should do that. Okay, let me finish this post and I'll go pray.

But as I prepared to continue, I realized that that's not what had been asked of me. I had been asked to come pray now. I was being called to go do something more important - my blog could wait.

True enough. I think I am participating in the common good by sharing my thoughts and reflections (else I wouldn't be blogging), but I'm clearly doing it wrong if I forsake prayer for the sake of blogging. First things first and all that.

So anyway, I go and pray through Joyful Mysteries in front of our family altar, and am confronted by the 5th Joyful Mystery (which I have talked about here) - the Finding in the Temple. It is an awesome mystery, and one which also provides fodder to the discussion on "what Jesus knew and when" regarding how divine knowledge plays out when it is unified with human nature in the person of Jesus Christ.

It is a confusing and (potentially) frightening question, but not the point of this particular cogitation. Rather, I was brought to some of the research I had done regarding that question, and how it talked about the modes of knowledge which Christ displays. In particular, I was struck about how Christ was perceived by the teachers in the temple. Luke 2:46f -

And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.

He was asking questions. Moreover, one interpretation of "his answers" was not so much answers signifying knowledge, but rather (as it says in the scripture) wisdom. That is, it was His ability to answer instructive questions intelligently, and to ask intelligent questions to probe the depths of the scripture. Of course, this could very easily have been a reverse-socratic method on His part, but nonetheless His wisdom is being displayed because He is asking.

Tie this together with Paul's admonition that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and Revelation 3:20 (Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. - see image), and we have a revelation to the nature of our relationship with God.

He is a God of invitation!

Our God is not one of imposition. He's not. One could say that He "imposes" reality upon us (gravity and all), but really that is providing us with an ordered and intelligible nature in which we know our place, and know the rules. But when it comes to ultimate reality, union with Him and living according to His will? No, not even the least bit imposing.

He gives us the room to love Him of our own accord. It will end up being on His terms - after all He knows us better than we know ourselves - but He allows us to discover that. He allows us to assent to that, to cooperate with and participate in that reality of His love for us, and our meager effort to return that love, perfected in the sacrifice of the Son.

It is interesting too, that even though I "heard it twice," the request didn't change. I can't quite explain it, but I first heard in my heart a call to pray. Upon considering delaying this, I heard - almost as a tone in the chord which doesn't come out at first - an insistence in the call. A desire that I come to Him now, without delay. That "tone" was there the whole time, it was I who had changed to hear it.

I think this is true with all of our calls from God. The substance of the call does not change - ever. However our state in life, our receptivity to that call, these things affect our ability to hear His call, and to hear different parts of that call. When I was a bachelor, and then a newlywed, I had more time to serve my parish, and was called to be active in time-intensive activities.

Now that I am a father and still in college, I have a responsibility to devote more of my time to my daughter. With my wife pregnant with our second, I am further called to spend more time at home. I can't do the same things I used to, but it doesn't mean I'm not following the call now, or was failing the call then. Nor does it mean that the call changed.

The music doesn't change, but where we are in the music does. Our part, whether we're melody, harmony, soloing - all of it is part of the same beautiful piece of music.

What is He inviting you to do today?

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing...thanks for your encouraging words my friend! I love your music metaphor...it's so true. We don't all follow the same role, and because of that difference it adds so much to the music God creates with our lives. If we were all in unison with the melody, that would be boring! All the parts make the music special and so beautiful.

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