Oh goodness...where to begin? Maybe with a seminarian wearing a cassock, showing up on my doorstep Saturday morning a little before 7 a.m. Said seminarian proceeded to take me and two other people to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, which was completely awesome. Followed by breakfast at the rectory, with an amazingly holy and humble priest. I love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass!! And I know so little about it....one of my good friends is a lot more knowledgable, and the various things that he has told me are awesome! We've talked about the direction that the priest faces. No, the priest does not have his back to the people; he is facing East with the people, facing the same direction as they are, as they offer a sacrifice and gift to God! To summarize an analogy that my friend gave, if the priest is facing the people at Mass, it is like a group of friends who are giving a gift. The friends have one spokesperson who will present the gift....so to present the gift, they stand in front of the group, and face their friends. Are they offering the gift to their friends? No! Yet they are still facing their friends, not facing the recipient WITH their friends! To be honest, I get distracted so much at Mass....but at the Latin Mass, my whole being is captured up in prayer. Honestly, I know without a doubt that I am experiencing a piece of Heaven!!!
Continuing on.....Saturday evening I hung out with my family, and had an Irish dance lesson with my siblings. Oh yeah--and while I made dinner, I had a fantastic phone conversation with my friend whom I needed to lead a prayer thing with on Sunday! So during the Irish dance lesson that I was leading, my siblings were great! They were wild, it was so much fun! Then we all played cards, which was awesome. Sunday morning, I lazed around with my family, went to Mass with the bishop---oh, and the homily was great. He totally started, at the beginning of his homily, to talk about the very thing that my friend and I had talked about the night before! My friend and I were just looking at each other from our respective seats, laughing silently, shaking our heads. I love the Holy Spirit!!! After Mass, I went to ConTEC. ConTEC is a gathering which takes place about a month after a TEC retreat, for any members of the TEC Community. It is a fantastic way to catch up with friends who live far away, to pray, eat, and have fun! Then we had a Harvesters gathering, which is a group of people who pray for the next TEC retreatents. Then, four of my friends and I hung out at Taco Bell, which was great. And crazy. And fun!
Then I went home, hung out with family, and started watching "Braveheart" with my parents and brother. Honestly, I love that movie. I really, really get into it! And I'm totally in love with the character of William Wallace :) And my brother has never seen it before, so its really fun to see him experience it for the first time!
Okay, now that I've totally filled your mind with random, unimportant events in my life, its time to get down to the core of this post. If I don't fall asleep while doing it =)
(I will reference Scripture quite a bit, 'cause that's always the place to start. So have a Bible handy and be ready to reference it)
Many times, when people have something explained to them, they say. "Yes, I understand. I see." Seeing implies understanding and knowledge. Knowledge comes from knowing someone or something. In order to have knowledge about your mom (when her birthday is, her habits, her favorite food) you need to know your mom. This knowing then implies intimacy. Some type of intimacy in relationships. In fact, in some translations of the Bible, Mary says "How can this be, for I KNOW no man?" By this, Mary meant that she had not become intimate with a man. But see how that sentence is phrased? Knowing implies intimacy. You can only truly know a person who you are intimate with on some level. Many times, best friends know each other so well that they can rattle off likes/dislikes, know reactions before they happen, finish each other's sentences, etc. How do they do this? They have a type of intimacy. They spend time with the other, they KNOW the other! So looking at this long chain reaction, I draw the conclusion that in order to truly see someone for who they are, one must be intimate with that person. So, in order to truly see God and His movements and call for us, we must be intimate with Him! And that intimacy comes from a personal relationship of prayer, sacraments, conversation, etc. with God!
Have you ever realized how many times "sight" is referred to in the Bible? Look up passages sometime; it is ridiculous! Take a look at Matthew, chapter 13. You might think that this passage only has to do with hearing, but think again! As the bishop so awesomely pointed out, when a sower goes out to sow seeds, he does not do so blindly. He has a vision; he sees what can happen when he sows the seeds. When we go out to "sow the seeds" of the Gospel message, we aren't supposed to do it blindly! We must see and have a vision of God using us in His mission. Mt 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears because they hear!"
But do we all see all the time? Let's look back at the Scriptures.....Mt 20:29-34. There were these blind guys. And Jesus walked up, cured them--and they could see Him. We become blind so many times throughout life. We have scales over our eyes, that keep us from being able to truly see God. These scales can be busy schedules, noise, bad relationships, and sin, among other things. These scales keep us distracted from God, so that we cannot truly see Him and see His movements. But He removes these scales for us! He picks us up, time and time again in the sacraments, and heals us! He restores our sight! But then what are we to do with this new-found sight? What did the guys in the Gospel of Matthew do? "Immediately they received their sight and followed him." There ya go. We need to follow God, and go out with our sight fully restored.
(On a sidenote, this is also fantastic when it comes to vocational discernment. By having that intimacy with God, and removing those scales from our eyes, we can more clearly see what He desires of us, and see the way that He acts in our lives, many times.)
In the Beatitudes, Jesus says "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." We can only truly see God is those scales are removed from our eyes! But we do not just sit with our sight restored and do nothing; God calls us to go out. Acts 26:14-18.
So get to Confession. Get to Mass. Clean up your life, and ask God to remove those scales from your eyes. Then, go out to all the world, and help them to see God in their lives!
May the peace and joy of Christ be with you all!