It is my sincere pleasure to share with you some thoughts and ponderings from other Companions from our Selah community. This month’s reflection comes from Mary Pandiani.
As a dispersed community of contemplative companions, we share a common set of values and commitments as we live into the way of Jesus through this common purpose: To invite all people to pause and to nurture contemplative experiences with Jesus, leading to inner freedom and loving service.
One of my favorite songs in “Day by Day” from the musical Godspell. The simplicity of the words speak to the kind of contemplative life I seek: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, day by day. With an ongoing hope for a growing and deepening life with Jesus, I desire to see more clearly with each new day. I want to encounter God, to know the presence of the Holy One, and to see where God is at work in this world. In seeing more clearly, I get a taste of the divine and holy.
With that desire, there’s a particular kind of seeing that challenges me. It’s in the manner that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin offers: “By virtue of Creation, and still more the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.”
In my effort to see, it means that I must also look at that which might offend, or repulse, or simply lack the beauty I associate with God’s presence. Where is God in the ugly? In the scenes I see on the news that grieve my heart? Even more, where is God in the discord we’re experiencing in our country of polarization and heightened agitation? In my desire to see more clearly, am I able to see God there?
As I wrestle with these questions and the state of our world, I recall that my longing for sight is accompanied by the desire to love more dearly and follow God more nearly. Perhaps “seeing” does not have to accept that which is profane, but rather, I have an opportunity to love in the midst of the sadness, the anger, the pain of knowing all is not as it needs to be. While creation is God’s good gift, the present condition reflects a distorted world that no longer recognizes the gift. But perhaps all is not lost. Through the Incarnation of God’s presence, we get to participate in turning the profane into a place of holy and sacred reconciliation as we love more dearly and follow God more nearly. And fortunately, I don’t have to get too overwhelmed. All I’m asked to do is see for this day, day by day by day by day.
Thank you Mary.
Peace and love to you all this good day,