Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Ordinary and the Beautiful

One might not think that a single yellow brick, chipped with age and discoloured by years of exposure to the dirt and dust kicked up by students would be beautiful. It is, in fact, sort of ugly. All of us have experienced a beautiful sunset piercing the trees and reflecting off of a nearby water-feature, or perhaps the sharp profile of a highland crag against a steel-blue sky overlooking the dark swirling North Sea, or maybe yet the wild, untamed mountains and ravines of ruddy Wyoming.

All of these are nature, and they are not made by us. They do not belong to us. They are Other, just as God is Other and only he is responsible for them. They are, for this reason, such a powerful witness to his presence that we feel the tug, the desire for a union with the unattainable, the infinite.

But what of my brick? It is also a connection to the infinite in the sense that it is a connection to history. Our lives are but a series of encounters with eternity and history is the collective memory of humanity's interaction with the infinite. We are like stones skipping across the lake of eternity and will eventually sink into it and be consumed by it.

But we eventually encounter a spot of eternity where someone else has been before. It brings the great fabric of time, the small corner of eternity, into greater perspective. This brick may have been touched by thousands of students, been witness to countless graduation pictures, stood steady as presidents and provosts passed on their responsibilities, as great discoveries were made and great social strides accomplished. It also has seen tragedy and discord. It in fact speaks loudly of the human condition. A building is a testament to the struggles and joys of not only the generation that built it, but all those who follow after as well, and each brick has its part in that history.

All things, ordinary and extraordinary, tell of the great gift of God which is this life. Can we pass up that leaf pile that calls for jumping? (Well, if there's a machine sucking them up, perhaps.) Can we ignore the single dandelion that has found its way into bloom? Can we say to a squirrel eating a nut, "No, you are unimportant?"

We should not, for all speak of God's love and all call us into a greater understanding of his infinite goodness.

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