Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 21, 2023

Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB shares a reflection on the Responsorial Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8

The psalmist describes God as a refuge from fear, not necessarily what I’ve heard described as ‘the gift of fear,’ the gift given us by God as a protective instinct, but the fear inculcated by indoctrination or an external force.

I believe that fear is at the root of all sin.

 We avoid what we fear. We hate what we fear. The false-self leaps with glee.

The false self is insecure. The false self is a victim. The false self is guilty and ashamed. The false self must elevate itself no matter the cost. The false self must win.

Fear is a form of death when it suppresses our better actions. James Russell Lowell said, “All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.”

If we want to know ourselves, we should ponder in our hearts our one-on-one, face-to-face interactions with homeless people.

I had an experience with personal physical pain a few years ago.

I had a steam burn on my hand.  I used cool water and a spray to ease the pain. When it was time to sleep, I couldn’t. Only cool water eased the pain.

Instead of using cool water, I decided to explore the pain with my mind.

Where were the margins of the pain precisely? How intense was the pain?

When fleeing the pain, it persisted; upon becoming acquainted with the pain, it dissolved.

I had blown a very minor pain up to be catastrophic when the next morning it wasn’t even an inconvenience.

Of what or whom should I be afraid?

 One thing I ask of God

This I seek:

To dwell in the house of God

all the days of my life,

that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord

and contemplate God’s temple  in the human heart.