The weekly Glimpses of God are opportunities to recognize, with greater clarity,the presence of God in the various places, people, events, situations and circumstances of your daily life. I offer them to you as an opportunity to reflect on howmuch God, as you understand Him, is a part of your life,how He chooses to use you and how you have chosen Him.They are glimpses because we can miss them if we are not paying attention. But if we open our heart to His love, if we open our ears to hear His gentle voice, if we open our eyes to see His light, if we open our hands to feel His hand in ours, and if we are open to share these gifts with others, then we too are being a Glimpse of God to those in our family, church, community,neighborhood, society and world.
Glimpse of God for the week of February 10, 2019
My glimpse of God for this week comes from a seemingly unlikely source. As I think of a Glimpse of God and how He chooses to reveal Himself, I have come to realize it is not just in the how but also in the what. I think of not only how He chooses to reveal Himself and the message in that revelation, but also what does He use to show Himself and His message. He created all things and creatures, so He can choose to reveal His message, His presence, His love, in any way that humanity can behold it. For this week, I see His glimpse in the beauty of a big fish tank that stands in the lobby of the Assisi House, in the Clare unit as well as the one in Sister MTC’s room.
The beauty of the fish tank lies not only in the various types and sizes of fish, but also in the colorful decorations inside the tank, the beautiful crystal-clear water and the greenery that reaches up and stretches out with the water to help keep its shape.
How is a beautiful fish tank a glimpse of God? Besides in the calming effects that it holds for those who behold it, and the kaleidoscope of colorful fish that swim in it, it also tells a love story; the love of God for all His creation and the love of the Sisters for his creation.
The fish tank is a window to the world, their window to the human world and our window to their world. Living in a fish tank might seem constricting, perhaps controlled, but only if you are looking for it to be. The beauty of a fish tank filled with fish and other creatures can open one’s eyes to how God would like us to strive and imitate what we are beholding. As we go through another week, let us =begin it with a new set of eyes and seek to behold God’s beauty in the least of His creatures.
SUNDAY “THE GLASS FISH TANK”
The tank, the four walls if you will, that make a home for the many and varied fish and other creatures that live within it. How is a glass fish tank a Glimpse of God, or how can we see God by looking in it? The tank is the window to the world of the inhabitants. There is an automatic transparency. Nothing is hidden, no creature that is within its glass walls can really hide without being seen, yet all are safe. Isn’t that a good way to be? A life of transparency, a life with no barriers, obstructions or walls to hide behind, or keep others away. As a follower of Christ, we should be authentic, consistent and transparent, and not a hypocrite. The gospel of love, the gospel that Jesus preached is the one that we should strive to follow and live by. Our life should reflect a genuineness and authenticity from the inside out. We cannot lie to, deceive or run from God. God knows all and there is nothing hidden that He is not aware of. He doesn’t use His knowledge of our sinfulness against us, but rather He embraces our hearts with His hope, consolation, peace and compassion. He knows our hearts better that we do and when our heart, the home that He abides in, is broken, He wants to bring healing upon it and make it whole again. God seeks us out especially when we try to hide because we are ashamed, or embarrassed. We can choose to remain in the muddy waters of sin or bad choices, but His desire for us is that we come to Him, not run away. That we choose to be transparent, trusting that we can and will exude and reflect His love and mercy, peace and compassion because we want to be the best person that we can be and have the potential to become.
For today, seek to be more transparent because in your transparency, others will see your heart the heart of love, your love for God and others and God’s love for you.
MONDAY – THE WATER THAT FILLS THE FISH TANK
God gives us home here on earth, it may not be filled with water, but it is the waters of baptism that will being us to our heavenly home when our earthly journey has ended. The waters of new life, of renewal, of purification, are ours. Every time we bless our self with holy water, we are recalling our baptism with a prayer and the sign of the cross. The waters of baptism invite us to enter into the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the passion and death where we encounter the devil’s temptations to resist Christ and be true to the gospel, but it is the same waters that remind us that Jesus is and will always be with us so that we can remain faithful. It is the waters of baptism that, although we may not be feeling the refreshing and cleansing experience that water brings, we are always living in the light and effects that our baptism forever gives us. The effects of our baptism enable us to live in union and love with each other. Notwithstanding our differences but in honor of them. Like the fish we can freely be our self, be true to our self and honor those we encounter as they too try to live and be true to them self as children of God.
For today, as you bless your self with holy water, recall the gift and cleansing power that it holds and seek to accept it, not reject it or dismiss it. You are blessed and a blessing, reverence your gift of self and that of others.
TUESDAY – THE FILTER
The filter in the fish tank is there to keep the water clean, to remove excess food and decaying organic matter, free floating stuff and the waste from the fish.
What is our filter? What do we, as Catholics, have to get rid of our waste those things that cause us to feel less than our better self, the best person that God created us to be? What does it look like? What keeps our souls clean our hearts open and our minds focused? The Church gives us the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist as our filters in union with our personal prayer life. God provides these filters so that we can stay focused on Christ. They allow us, or invite us, to be strengthened in body, mind and spirit so that we can be true to Him and to our self. They allow us to keep and open mind and open our hearts to Him and His great love for us so that we can share that love with each other, even those we do not know, but will encounter.
For today, say a prayer of gratitude for the gifts of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist, and remind your self that the graces received go a long way and are the filters that keep the wasteful things: revenge, anger, bitterness, resentment at a distance and bring the good: mercy, compassion, forgiveness, peace and joy, closer.
WEDNESDAY – THE STONES THAT CREATE THE FOUNDATION
Every stone in the tank exudes the beauty of God that each person on the in this case, fish, possesses. We are all unique in the eyes of God. We are all His beloved children, loved unconditionally and are His greatest creation. We are loved for who we are and not for what we do. Although the stones may all look alike, some are the same color and the same size, each one is different, no two stones are the same. We as humans are all different, there are no two humans that are the same. We all have the love of God in our heart that calls us to love and respond to love in our unique and individual way. The stones represent how we as humans can sometimes be: hard of heart, resisting of change, not wanting to be transformed, but rather stay just as we are. The stone, although entrenched in water, does not break down. We, if we choose not to recall our baptism or the filters that God gives us, cannot experience transformation or conversion, and we remain hard of heart. BUT if we allow the graces and filters of God to truly affect us, then like the stones, we add to the beauty of creation by being the loving, caring and giving people that God created us to be, and knows that we want to be. God knows that although we can sometimes be hard headed and hard of heart, we also have the potential to change and seek to be formed, reformed and transformed into the image and likeness of the true Body of Christ. If you removed any one of the stones, there would be a void, something would be missing. How much more would there be a void if one of us would be removed or worse yet, if we were to remove our self from interaction with others because of shame, sin or weakness? There would be a void, we would be missed. We all are called to build the Kingdom here on earth and we all add to the beauty of the Kingdom so when we pluck out or leave from our mission of co creating God’s kingdom here on earth, we then create a empty space that makes the big picture incomplete. When God calls us home, our hope is that whoever replaces or fills in for us so that the kingdom can continue to be built, it is by someone that we were witness to and will choose to follow Christ and b His witness as we tried to be.
For today, pray for those who have gone before you, and recall one aspect that they passed on to you that has inspired you to continue to be a co-creator in God’s kingdom here on earth.
THURSDAY - THE FISH
As one gazes into the fish tanks, the first and most beautiful sight is the movement of the many types of and varied sized fish that swim next to, underneath, around each other, without attacking each other. They, unlike humanity at times, all seem to get along despite their differences. There is not blatant killing of a small fish by a big fish, or the frog eating the small fish, if there were, the tank would be empty. Their habitat is a safe habitat because they have been carefully chosen and placed there, and the beauty that one beholds is how they an coexist with each other.
As members of the body of Christ, as His greatest creation, shouldn’t we, can’t we learn from the fish and try to get along with each other, especially those who are different and those who challenge us? We are called to be builders of God’s kingdom here on earth and as builders, we are going to work with those who are different: in race, religion, culture, yet desire to bring God’s love to the world as they understand it. We are called, not to judge, but to show mutual respect, and understanding and to live in unity with each other and our differences.
For today, let us strive to behold the beauty in another, especially in someone that you do not always get along with or see eye to eye with. Say a prayer of gratitude for them and the differences that they possess.
FRIDAY – THE FROG
The fish that swim and the frog that leaps up and down in the water, speak of our uniqueness and how we all blessed with different talents, and gifts that add to God’s big picture and beautiful creation. The frog is unique in that as a water frog he is content and happy living in the water. He can be seen though, swimming to the top to get air and then returning to the bottom when he has had enough.
I can’t help but imagine that we too as humans do the same thing. We run around, are busy about many things, that we don’t take the time to come up for air. We allow our self to get run down physically, emotionally and spiritually, and it isn’t until we realize that we cannot continue to keep going this way, that we feel that we are going to sink, we come up for air? What does that mean or look like? What is the air that we come up for? As believers the air that we seek to breathe is the Spirit and breath of God. It is the gentle whisper and voice that gives us direction and guides us on our earthly journey. We need God in our world, our community, our church, our family and our self to be our moral and spiritual compass so that we can stay the course and not be led to sink, but rather to swim and seek that air that refreshes us and gives us life. As God gives us air, our very next breath, we can choose to be the breath of life or the breath of death. We can build up another or we can tear down just in and by our words. The frog comes up for air on a regular basis, do we? Do we seek the fresh air of God or do we hold our breath, or are we short of breath?
For today, focus on your breathing and seek to be the breath of God in your words, both those you speak and those you pray.
SATURDAY – THE BIG PICTURE
God dwells in all His creatures. We as humans have been given the responsibility to carefully and lovingly take care of those less fortunate, the vulnerable and the helpless. The fish and the frog in the tank are symbolic of the kaleidoscope of the many facets and forms of creation. The fish, the frog, the greenery, the props, the stones, the water, all are needed and desired to make the inhabitants happy so that they can coexist with each other.
The fish that can swim about freely, happily and without heavy burdens to carry or crosses that weigh them down. Isn’t that what God wants for you? To be free and cast your worries on Him?
The frog that can leap happily in the water and yet is able to come up for air, not out of desperation or exhaustion, but rather energy so that he can continue to live happily and freely in the water with the fish? Isn’t that what God wants for us? Not to come to Him so much out of desperation and exhaustion but more so out of love and the desire to be life giving and truly happy?
The stones that lay a beautiful foundation. We are God’s beautiful foundation, all with different gifts and talents that make the kingdom a beautiful kaleidoscope of love to behold.
And my favorite the greenery…You can’t over water it and that is my favorite type of plant.