40th Anniversary: Remembering, Transforming and Recommitting
Last month I was away on retreat. Alone in a simple cottage on a lake, I found myself a bit fearful at night as I tried to fall asleep amid unfamiliar sounds and rural darkness. In spite of haunting questions of faith inspired by too many losses in a very short time, my spirit instinctively reached out and surrounded my bed with my beloved dead in the communion of saints, relying on them to calm my fears and keep me safe through the night. It was a web of love stronger than my doubts and it arose as gift in the midst of sorrow. Although my companions numbered more than three and they were as human as I, I experienced them as a manifestation of God’s great, unfathomable love and I thought to myself, Ah! This is Trinitarian love. It’s not about the number; it’s all about the experience of being held by boundless compassion. I was reminded that I have come to know God’s love through the love of those who God has placed in my life. I searched the faces around my bed and found God personified in each: an abiding sense of responsibility in one, loyalty in another, selfless generosity in a third and magnanimity in a fourth. Had I not known them, I would not know God. Painful doubt was nudged over a bit by love, and I found amazing consolation. Then a powerful question hit me: Do others know God’s love because of me? So, in this week as we reflect on the Trinity, let us ponder how we manifest God’s grace to those we encounter. Defining the relational nature of the Trinity is beyond most of us. Proclaiming it by our lives is the challenge to every one of us.