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.