Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue - to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.
The tree in my front yard puzzled me. One side leafed out fully before the other side even got started. I was convinced the tree was sick until one of my kids pointed out the rather obvious fact that the early leafing half faced east and got more sun during the day.
I wonder sometimes if the impact of God’s love and mercy on my life is like that. Oh, he bathes me in his light—no doubt—but am I only allowing it to impact part of my life, my concerns, my priorities and my choices? Am I only half in bloom?
One of the great temptations I face in the spiritual life is to be centered wholly on myself, my feelings and my sense of peace right now.
But it’s not only about me, is it? I’m part of the Body of Christ, which extends not only space but through time. This verse from the psalmist startles me for that reason. My spiritual responsibility is not only to open myself to the Lord’s presence for my own sake—gulp!—but for the sake of “a people yet to be born.”
We might struggle sometimes to figure out what unity in the Body of Christ means. There are no simplistic answers, but it seems to me any answer at all begins with acknowledging the fact and the gift that all of us gathered today around the world will be praying the Psalmist’s words, giving voice to the same, shared ancient yearning for wholeness, peace and love.
I wear contact lenses, so when I wake up in the morning, everything beyond my hand in front of my face is a blur. But as that new day begins, I’m blind in another way too, even after I pop my contacts in. I have no idea what’s coming. I may have a sense and I may even have a plan. But really, I don’t know. I’m in the dark.
And so, Jesus meets me as I awaken and asks this same question. What do I want him to do for me as I begin my day’s journey in the dark?
Sitting in our large stone, echo-prone cathedral during Mass, I heard a phone. It wasn’t a full-out ring, but that pulsing, vibrating sound of an almost “silenced” phone. It sounded as if it were coming from across the church. I waited, smirking, for the owner to turn it off. It kept going.
Today is the feast of the great French servant of the poor, St. Vincent de Paul.
There is no lack of charities serving those in need in the world, but Jesus makes clear here the Christian difference: to not see “the poor” as a group “below” those who serve them from on high. No, we’re all one body in Christ, and we’re called to understand ourselves as “the least” simply serving each other, brothers and sisters, out of mutual love and responsibility.
This is one of the most telling, revealing moments in the gospel—not about Jesus, but about us.
For how many times has Jesus visited me where I live? In the sacraments, in moments of prayer, in the love and presence of other people—he’s come to me. He’s healed, taught and revealed the way to real happiness and peace. I know this! I know all about it! And I say I believe it.
If you would like more of this type of devotional, check out my Catholic Woman's Book of Days.