Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting in Her Heart

By Diane Bayne

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman.” (Gal 4:4)

“The angel Gabriel said to her, “Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall name him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:35)

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord[n] should come to me?”  (Luke 1: 41-43)

“And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.  For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on all ages will call me blessed.”  (Luke 1:46-48)

“She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”  (Luke 2:7)

“The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’” (Luke 2:33-35)

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Mary certainly had a lot on which to reflect.  All of the world’s major religions emphasize the importance of taking the time to reflect on what is happening in your life.

Anthony de Mello, SJ, was famous for his emphasis on “Awareness”: “Come home to yourself. Observe yourself. That's why I said earlier that self-observation is such a delightful and extraordinary thing. After a while, you don't have to make any effort, because, as illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It's called happiness. Everything changes and you become addicted to awareness.”  Anthony de Mello, SJ

Mary practiced awareness by reflecting on the events occurring in her life.  God is present in our world at all times and in all places.  We just need the eyes to see and the ears to hear.  We need awareness.  Without awareness of God’s presence in everything that was happening to her, Mary would not have been able to make sense of what was to come later.

As we begin a new year that promises to be filled with many challenges, take time each day to sit in the quiet and reflect on the events of your day.  Like Mary, look especially for those events which helped you be aware of God’s presence in your life.  Look for the patterns in your life that are helping you find joy and to bring joy to those around you.

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