I write this on one of those glorious spring days that lift the spirits. The temperature is in the 70s. The green of lawn, trees and shrubs is bright and fresh. The soft blue of the sky is set off by trails of wispy clouds.
Tonight I’ll be confirming candidates from St. Joseph, Penfield, and St. Mary of the Assumption, Scottsville. By the time our celebration begins, there will be little daylight left, but our cathedral will be made bright by its splendid lighting and the joyful people who will be gathered there.
I am grateful for both the beauty of the day and the pleasant anticipation of tonight’s event. Both remind me of God’s majesty and loving presence in our lives. I am also thankful for these two gifts today because they come during a stretch that has been particularly busy and that has presented its share of concerns and problems. Even as I have enjoyed them, I am mindful that the Lord has treated me in this way through most of my life.
No matter what frustrations, disappointments or failures have been mine, the Lord has always been there with a spark of hope, a helpful insight and the grace to find the way to better things.
These good gifts don’t arrive on my schedule or in the form or shape in which I might like them to arrive. Rather, they often come at a time I least expect. I discover them; I don’t produce them.
Having said that, I add that life tends to look brighter and problems smaller when I remain as faithful as I should be to practices that have proved their worth over time. I refer to prayer, adequate sleep, communication with family and friends, proper nutrition and physical exercise. When I don’t honor those values as I should, I am slow to recognize the good things with which the Lord sprinkles my life.
How about you? Do you ever take time to think back over the years with a view toward understanding and drawing meaning from your experiences? I mean remembering those moments, events and relationships that had special meaning to you. Or thinking about habits or patterns of behavior that have nourished and sustained you.
I encourage you to do so in prayerful spirit, because I believe it is a wonderful way to gain insight into how the Lord touches your heart. I also believe it is very helpful to be mindful of those dispositions or practices that seem to heighten your awareness of God-with-you.
Remembering the special moments and the helpful patterns of life can help us to appreciate God’s fidelity to us. Such memory can also be a source of great comfort during the tough times. Things can seem terribly dark, but through it all we know in faith that no darkness can extinguish the light who is Christ.
Peace to all.