Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Father Larry Gillick, SJ, has been a writer for the Daily Online Reflections from Creighton University. I once had the good fortune of making a retreat under his direction. He lost his sight as a child but that never got in the way as he quoted scripture to us from his brail copy of the gospels. He wrote this a few years ago.

“The Jesuit poet, G. M. Hopkins wrote a poem about patience as a hard thing to pray for. Waiting, longing, wondering what’s taking so long, are experiences we’d rather avoid. Things for which we do not have to wait, things and persons who are automatically present, tend to become, well, just there - the usual.

There is a comfort in the usual, but there is something in the human soul which urges the new, different or surprising.

As we pray with an Advent spirit, we want both the expected and the unexpected. This is a wonderful way to pray and live, because there is something of God in both.

We pray with our experiences of being surprised, with the different and unusual of each day as a preparation for our celebration of this Eucharist and of God’s becoming one of us. The different can be an annoyance, but it does keep us alert and alive. We might pray also with our resistance or skepticism about the unexpected.”

Those are my underlinings. After reading Father Gillick’s insights, I asked myself if I was really praying that way, i.e., praying for what I expect, but also praying to be surprised.
As I reflect, I’m realizing that praying for what I expect, the ‘usual,’ could have the power to help me appreciate more deeply whoever or whatever is my ‘usual’.

By nature, I generally hate surprises, but to be honest, I can’t tell you why. Some shrink would probably tell me I have control issues. I do appreciate the fact that praying about the unexpected could surely make me less apprehensive and much more open to what Father Gillick is talking about, namely, “something in the human soul which urges the new, different or surprising.”

In other words, it’s a lot more human to be open to the different, than closed by reluctance to change. Come, Lord Jesus, indeed.

In ten days, we celebrate Christmas. In those ten days I promise I will pray for all of you. I will pray that together we find in our own spiritual poverties, echoes of the material poverties that many people experience.

Perhaps in tending to the material poverty of others, we will discover richness in ourselves we never knew was there. I know just having to write this Twitch is making me think of things I would not have otherwise.

I’ve been hearing in my head Bing Crosby singing, “Do you hear what I hear?” I went and found the lyrics. There is a wonderful succession of revelations going on:

The night wind to the little lamb,
the lamb to the shepherd boy,
the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
the king to people everywhere.
Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?
Do you know what I know?
THEN...
The king says to people everywhere
LISTEN to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light.

May we rise above the challenges of gifts and wrappings and cards and goodness knows what else and know the Lord’s goodness and light. We will, because that’s what we asked for first.
In Him,
sign frjim

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