Thursday, September 3, 2009

Empty Space for God

What do you do when someone comes right out and says to you, "You're selfish." That's just what this reflection said to me.

Empty Space for God
Sister Genevieve Glen, O.S.B.

"For in [Christ] dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily,
and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every
principality and power." (Col 2:9-10)

To be filled, something must first be empty, as anyone knows who has started to fill a water glass at table, gotten distracted by conversation, and gone on "filling" the glass when there was no empty space left for the water. Saint Paul writes elsewhere about Christ's self-emptying. What he calls to our attention here is the need for our own. We cannot share in the fullness of the deity that fills us as Christ's Body unless we make room by emptying ourselves of anything that offers no space for God. Saint Paul's words call to mind the holy of holies, the room at the heart of the Jerusalem temple kept all but empty to receive God. We sometimes build other rooms in our inmost self and furnish them for other gods. The prophet Ezekiel described an "idol room" in the much desecrated Jerusalem of his day. Do we have an idol room, where we keep all the false gods whom we honor with our obedience and our sacrifices? Their name is legion: public opinion, unnecessary financial gain, self-satisfaction, pleasure, comforts of all sorts. They are all demanding of our time, our attention, our energy. We recognize them best when they decree that we have no time to pray, no time for Mass, no time to do the kindness, no time because we must be at the beck and call of a TV program, an exercise class, a golf game, overtime work to pay for things we don't know then. There is room for only one God in the inner temple of the Christian self - the one "who is the head of every principality and power. " With his help, let us drive out that other crowd, with all its demands, so that our inner emptiness may be filled not with their clutter but with the fullness of God in which we share through Christ.

O God, empty my heart of everything that crowds you out of my awareness and out of my desires. fill my emptiness with the fullness or your presence in and through Jesus Christ, so that he may rule my mind and heart with your love.
from Praying With Saint Paul
Edited by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.


This is where I am right now. I have too much outside distraction. There has been too much FUN. I know that God does not begrudge me the wonderful things that I have been able to see and do this summer. It has been grand and I have thanked him for this in all sincerity. But right now I need to be grounded in him! Because of our weekly travels myI have neglected the time set aside for prayer and thanksgiving for laundry, cleaning, and shopping for the next adventure. I should have spent more time in prayer. 'Tis nearly the beginning of a new season. Before that season arrives I hope to be back in the "room" where my Lord and I visit. The "room" where we pray. And to do that I need to rid the "room" of clutter that has filled it these last few months. I must invite the Lord to his proper home again and remember to give more than I take! I need to put away selfish and bring out selfless again. And it can be done!!!

Thanks be to God!

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This has become a new adventure. One in which I will try to express my journey with providence.