A REFLECTION AND A BENEDICTION FOR THE WEEK
(Friday, October 1st)
The highlight of my week was an overnight retreat with my friend, Nancy! We were inspired, comforted, and challenged as we learned about Boundless Compassion at Lial Renewal Center (the retreat was based on Joyce Rupp’s beautiful book with the same title).
Taking time away for quiet contemplation helps open our souls to the movement of the Spirit. During one break, I sat at the small lake, pondering an insight we had just discussed. In her book, Joyce Rupp writes, “Research by quantum physicists like David Bohm assures us that we are also united on a physical plane by a bond of invisible connections. Our physical self consists of invisible energy packets of light and heat called photons… every particle is in motion. Each part connects and interrelates with each other.”1
Isn’t this discovery SO miraculous and delightful? The Light of God’s goodness and love pervades every part of God’s creation!
I began to have this sense that I too, was divinely connected to God, to Christ, to all of humanity, and to the entire universe. This idea of infinite connection – along with the wonder and serenity of the moment – overwhelmed me with joy and tenderness. I went back inside for the next session, feeling grateful, loved, and holy.
Sr. Dean had just begun introducing the next session when I was surprised by another sudden thought: Yes, Karen, you are divinely connected to God and the universe. You are part of God’s infinite light and love, you are intertwined with all of life.
You are also connected to the toad, the snake, and the slug.
I almost laughed aloud! It seemed as if God was reminding me that I am still a lowly human. I may soar with the angels – but I will also slog through the mud with those I find “less lovely.”
Now, as I reflect on this week, I find a greater purpose to God’s marvelous photons and how they interconnect with all of creation. We are meant to be connected in love, in holy light; we have been created in love and light for this very reason! To see ourselves or any other part of creation as perfectly divine or as pitifully demeaned will only keep us prideful, judgmental, and uncaring, or envious, hopeless, and despairing. We are connected through our holiness and our brokenness. We need this awareness that we are both holy and broken in order to be lovingly united with all living beings.
My reflection went one step further. Too often, I come before God as more broken than beautiful. God seems to be showing me that I am equally both, and beloved as both. As God reveals my humble humanity I am also assured that I am still a beautiful blessing…
I am broken, and I am beloved.
I am human, and I am holy.
I am insignificant, and I am immense.
I am imperfect, and I am incredible.
I am lowly, and I am lovely.
I am but a tiny flicker on the horizon… and I am also the infinite light of God.
May you find you are an integral part
of the infinite light of Love –
a small but essential ray of hope
to help others rise above
the darkness of their grief or pain,
the depth of their dejection.
May you be one who helps them know
we share a divine connection.
May you rejoice in every imperfection
and smile with every flaw
for you are perfectly created
by our God of wonder and awe.
May you thank God for merciful grace
as you recognize your humanity,
and share the light of God’s true love
as you celebrate your divinity.
BIBLE PASSAGES TO BLESS YOUR WEEK:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV)
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NRSV)
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
1 John 4:16 (NRSV)
1Rupp, Joyce. Boundless Compassion. Notre Dame: Sorin Books; 2018: page 17.
Bible verses found at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Photo by Karen, Lial Renewal Center at sunrise, Whitehouse, Ohio