One Minute Reflection – 16 May – “Mary’s Month” Readings: Acts 20:17-27, Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21, John 17:1-11
“I am glorified in them.” – John 17:10
REFLECTION – “My Father and I will come to him” – that is to say, to the holy of heart – says the Son of God “and we will make our home with him” (Jn 14:23). It seems to me, that when the psalmist said to God: “You make your dwelling in the holy place, you who art Israel’s praise,” (Ps 22:4) he had no other heaven in mind, than the hearts of the saints. The Apostle expresses it quite clearly: “Christ lives in our hearts through faith,” he tells us (Eph 3:17). Surely it is no wonder that the Lord Jesus gladly makes His home in such a heaven because, unlike the other heavens, He did not bring it into existence by a mere word of command. He descended into the arena to win it; He laid down His life to redeem it. And so, after the battle was won, He solemnly declared: “This is my resting place forever and ever; here I have chosen to dwell” (Ps 132:14). Blessed indeed is the soul to whom the Lord says: “Come, my chosen one, I will set up my throne in you” (Sg 2:10).
“Why, then, are you sorrowful, my soul and why are you troubled within me?” (Ps 42:6). Are you trying to find a place for the Lord within yourself? Who among us can provide a fitting place for the Lord of glory, a place worthy of His majesty! O that I might be counted worthy to worship at His footstool, that I might at least cling to the feet of some saintly soul whom the Lord has chosen to be His dwelling place! However, the Lord has only to anoint my soul with the oil of His mercy, for me in my turn, to be able to say: “I have run the way of your commandments because you have enlarged my heart” (Ps 119:32). Then perhaps, even if I cannot usher Him into a “large and richly furnished room” in my heart where He may refresh Himself with His disciples (cf. Mk 14:15), I shall at least, be able to offer Him, “a place to lay his head” (cf. Mt 8:20).
It is necessary for a soul to grow and be enlarged until it is capable of containing God within itself. But the dimensions of a soul are in proportion to its love, as the Apostle confirms when he urges the Corinthians to “widen their hearts in love” (2 Cor 6 13). Although the soul, being spiritual, cannot be measured physically, grace confers on it what nature does not bestow… Love, then, is the measure of the soul. Souls are large that love much, small that love little; while as for the soul that has no love at all, such a soul is itself nothing. “Without love,” says Saint Paul, “I am nothing” (1 Cor 13:3). – St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk and Doctor of the Church – Sermons on the Song of Songs, no. 27, 8-10
PRAYER – Lord God, You opened for us, the way to eternal life, when Christ Your Son was take up to glory and Your Holy Spirit, came to enlighten Your Church. Grant that, as we share in so great a gift, our longing and hope, for our eternal home may grow every stronger and so our service ever more loyal to Your commandments. Listen to the prayers of Holy Mother Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Your Son, whom we beg to pray for Your grace in all things. Through Christ, Our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all time and for all eternity, amen.