We are uncomfortable with things we cannot explain. Folks want to discredit what cannot be scientifically proven. That is why miracles are difficult to accept.
“It’s just a hole that keeps filling up with sand. Water is water, people are healed because of their faith. The painting was painted by a Spaniard, not really done by the Blessed Mother.” Wherever God has directly intervened in human history, there are doubts in the minds of the sceptics. Folks think, “This really can’t be happening—God talking to me; God bothering to look at me; God caring specially for me.” We look for the extra-ordinary and miss out on the ordinary way in which God wants to communicate with us. For example, Peter, John and James were distracted when the clothes of Jesus became dazzling white, when His face changed in appearance, when Moses and Elijah appeared to them. They started shaking, screaming, yelling—so God put them to sleep. He had to tranquilize them because they were so distracted. Focusing on the wrong things is a typical reaction when we feel that we are not in control. We do not know how to react. We are so accustomed to being in charge that allowing things to happen and just appreciating the moment is next to impossible. That is why we take pictures, or making a recording, or refuse to turn off our phones—they give us a false sense of being in control. Peter, John and James did not have our modern devices, but they still wanted to capture the moment by making tents, to mark the place. Again, God had to silence them. “Just listen”, God said. “Stop trying to do something and just appreciate the moment.” So difficult for us. We are much better at doing something than just being. Therefore, contemplative prayer is the least used, the least popular, the most neglected form of prayer.
“Sometimes I sits and think, sometimes I just sits.” Echoes from childhood come to mind, “Don’t waste your time.” We have trouble justifying sitting front of the Blessed Sacrament and doing nothing. Time is money. We could be working, cleaning, doing something. To sit and do nothing sounds almost “Un American.” Many are afraid of what they will discover—what God will say—the person they will become. The defense mechanisms go up and we justify our fears by saying, “That’s not for me. I cannot afford to spend so much time doing nothing.” When in reality, none of us can afford not to be quiet and just listen. The majority of us are running on empty.
Took a preview of the beatific vision to silence Peter, John and James. What does God have to do to silence us? How can God get our attention? Hopefully He does not have to use anything dramatic. No apparitions, no cloud, no movie voice—just the ordinariness of everyday life. God speaks to us all the time. Believe it or not—the Lord speaks through our spouse. In a rare instance, God might even speak through our in-laws. The beauty of nature. God is all around and constantly communicates with us. However, we are usually not listening. We do not have to travel across the ocean or visit a holy shrine or endure fasting. All we need is a listening heart. When we are open to listen, the message will be the same as always and forever. All that God wants to tell us is that we are loved without conditions. They are the most difficult words to hear. We want to earn, to deserve, to merit. God’s love is free. He accepts us for the person we are right now, not the person we want to be in the future. Our long list of deficiencies is also embraced. In Jesus Christ we are made One with the Father. Since we eat the Body of Christ, we also become the Body of Christ. And since the Father delighted in His Son, He also delights in us.
We are invited to listen to the words and make them our own: “You are my chosen son; you are my chosen daughter. I delight in you.”