Can I just spit out reflections rapid-fire without necessarily providing any linking thoughts or points?
Here we go, Flo.
First, here’s a reflection from that online retreat I’m doing:
“In this scene [where Mary visits Elizabeth], two peasant women, both pregnant, greet each other. Everything about it suggests smallness and obscurity. What you see is two rather plain-looking women, standing in the dust of an unknown village. Nothing suggests that either of them, or anything that they are doing or carrying, is out of the ordinary. Yet-and this is the genius of the painting-that littleness makes you automatically ask the question: ‘Who would have though it? Who could ever have imagined that these two women, in this obscure town, in this obscure place, in this obscure time, were carrying inside of themselves something that would radically and forever change the world? Who would have guessed that they were gestating the Christ and the Prophet John?’
There is a lesson in that. Never underrate, in terms of the world importance, anyone who is pregnant with promise. Never underestimate the impact in history of silent, hidden gestation. …what changes the world is what we give birth to in obscurity and dust, within the frustration of lives that will always seem too small for us. If we allow ourselves to become pregnant with hope and carry that hope through a long, humble gestation process, we will impact the world.”
Ron Rolheiser, IMI, Daybreaks, p. 45.
My favorite line:
Never underrate, in terms of the world importance, anyone who is pregnant with promise. Never underestimate the impact in history of silent, hidden gestation.
Probably because I’m over here dreaming the impossible and outlining all that I’d love to do on a paper calendar with metallic gel pen.
I plan on some chapel-time tonight. Sweet Jesus, let’s do all the things.
Before I took my first groupo to Europe, I felt like I needed to take a group to Europe, but I was also like, “La la la, this doesn’t make sense and it’s a bit frightening” so I went on a bike ride.
And, during that bike ride, I came across a tiny cemetery on the other end of town…the kind that are, like, one house-lot of graves, with grass slowly growing over the stones and the carved letters fading due to years and years of rain and snow and humidity.
And I looked at those graves, some of them of notable citizens of that city, I’m sure and I realized: we’re all going to die and no one will remember or care anything about our lives, anyway.
Unless one of your great-grandchildren gets all into ancestry research or something.
Might as well waste your life doing things of eternal value, like loving people into heaven and what not.
OK, so this one baby, tiny bit ties into the previous one.
When I was either in high school or early college and I had this conversation with a totally cute girl a few years younger than I, she was so sincere and excitedly faithful.
“It’s like Google maps,” I remember her saying, “You’ll start looking at your house and then zoom out and out and out until you’re looking at your entire state and then the entire country and then the world, from outer space, and there’s NO WAY you can still view your house anymore.
“In the same way, imagine a time line of all time. The time line is the past century and the one before that and into the Renaissance and the Middle Ages and the Roman Empire and the Egyptian Empire and beyond and before that–and it stretches into the future as well! Far, far and until the end of time! Your life wouldn’t even show up as the thinnest red thread on that time line, so why WOULDN’T you just give your life to God and let Him do whatever He wanted?”
Just hand over that red thread already, trust me.
I lied. Four points.
I wrote this today in reflection-times. I wasn’t going to. But, I did.
Back story: blah blah blah, working on a play about the women of the gospel who encounter Christ. Only, Jesus hasn’t really had a speaking role…until now-ish.
Here it is.
Be gentle because I’ll be honest and say: I never quite know what I’m doing.
Other inspiration comes from a book Colleen is reading this Advent-y season. Quote from the book that rocked our world: Mary completely trusted God. She threw herself totally into His hands, believing that His love would protect her. And, in the same way, God did the same thing to Mary.
I know, I know. It blows the mind. God and Mary mutually launched into the love of the other when Mary said “Yes” to God.
Enough said on my end.
Here goes nothin’:
I’ve been thinking about the women.
They’re surrounded by lies, Father. It tears at my heart. They don’t see how much we love them. They don’t see how strong they are. They don’t see how important they are to us!
And the Liar is so slick, Father. I hate how he surrounds them daily, barrages them daily, reiterates hatred over and over again in their minds. I can’t have that.
I want to let them know. I need to tell them again!
But, the prophets. (You know I love the prophets.) But, sometimes, with their quirky, little human flaws, they forget to tell the women.
And I need to tell them.
I need to sit in their company and listen to their fears and sweep the cobwebs of lies from the corners of their minds and ears and hearts.
I need to gather them, like little, fresh baby sheep from among the flowers.
The Liar is a wolf, Father. And he will tear them apart just for the taste of blood. Just to mock, cripple, maim and kill them. Just to destroy them.
We will need to start small. It is how you act, and they know you. And I am your son.
We will start small…like…a seedling. A small seedling.
A promise of life.
A glimmer of hope.
Is there one who will gestate the light of love in silence, patience and trust?
It will mean reaching past her preconceived notions, the earthly possibilities, the things that make sense…to the impossible and the things that don’t seem like they can be.
Father. I will send a messenger.
(To someone else) Oh, child. May it be done to me according to thy word.
P.S. And of course Jesus came for everyone: men and women. It’s just, this was written for a play centered around the feminine experience of the Gospel. Hence the attention.
P.P.S. I just hit one hundred followers. You guys are too much. Thanks for joining me. It honestly honestly floors me.