Monday, November 28, 2005

Preparing The Way

My parish has made available a booklet to help in our spiritual preparation during Advent. "The Little Blue Book" is published by the Diocese of Saginaw, MI. (They also have booklets for Lent and Easter.)

As a practice in lecto divina, the booklet focuses on the infant narrative (Chapters 1 and 2) found in the Gospel of St. Luke, as well as providing "a variety of facts about the Advent and Christmas seasons, the feast of the day, and various traditions and customs."

In meditating on the opening verses (1:1-4) the phrase that grabbed my attention was "from the beginning". It reminded me of the opening of both Genesis and the Gospel of St. John: "In the beginning...." The beginning is God. I must go if to Him if I am to truly "realize the certainty of the teachings you have received." In order to be "Theophilus" ("lover of God"), I must get to know Him, not just know about Him.

That is where I am in my spiritual development. I know about God, but I really don't know Him. It is the difference between head and heart, casual acquaintence and intimate companion, far away deity and "Abba". I can intellectualize all I want, but that doesn't get me any closer to Him. Only being open to Him will accomplish that.

Fr. John Powell, SJ, a former professor at Loyola University (Chicago), poses this thought in one of his books. We should not be asking about our nature, but His. The question is not "Who, O God, am I that You love me so?", but rather "Who, O God, are You that You love me so?"

To know Him is to love Him. To know Him is to know Love.

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