Tuesday, March 25, 2014

fiat in fides

It is not physical beauty nor temporal glory nor the brightness of light dear to earthly eyes, nor the sweet melodies of all kinds of songs, nor the gentle odor of flowers, and ointments and perfumes, nor manna or honey, nor limbs welcoming the embraces of the flesh; it is not these I love when I love my God. 

The wonderful thing about being six years old is that all information enters the brain equally.
There is no sifting between the wheat and the chaff, there is no judicious sizing up of one piece of information over the other.
All the knowledge that is dropped down into your head.
This is the great power and danger of speaking in the presence of six year olds. The words you say may be remembered long after you have forgotten them.
I will never forget my father's strict admonitions never to stand on rolling chairs. Every time my lazy self is too slothful to find another step ladder besides the convenient rolling chair in my close vicinity, his warning echo through my brain, and I reluctantly search for other means of elevation. A routine which has probably saved my life several times.
I cannot forget Gayloria's picture book that introduced me to Johnny Appleseed, or my babysitter's ominous warning that if I lied I would be sent to hell, or the neighbor girl who introduced me to the strange and fascinating beings known as: the Spice Girls.
I remember when I heard the Eucharist bells, I could never see the altar boys who were ringing them, and I was convinced that those bells I heard were being rung my angels straight from heaven.
I will always remember my mother telling me that it always snowed on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
I thought of her words again, as I opened up the door to go on my morning run, and I was greeted, not by the frozen ground and dead grass of a rainy and cold March, but with the gentle snowfall and a blanket of soft, sweet white covering the ground.
Very Marian weather.

All these were pieces of information that made up the mosaic of my six year old world.
The thing about being really any age over six, but particularly any age over sixteen, is that you look for words that are sent specifically to you.
You look for signs.
You realize there is an order and a pattern to the world, and you begin to look for where you fit into that pattern, where that order weaves into your life.
As we hiked through the hilly streets of Darjeeling, I found words that were meant for me.
Painted onto the side of a wall, etched in gold inside of a chapel.
Not the words I was expecting to hear, but the words that were put there for me to find.
The signs you are expecting are never the ones that you find.
They are always a surprise, and usually quite troubling.
But to meet them with fear, with looks of askance and with doubt is not only a cowardly position, but a prideful one as well.
To be a coward is understandably human; to be a prideful coward is vaguely insufferable.
To meet the unexpected with peace, to greet the surprises of life with a firm and patient Yes, leads to something like joy.
Our fiats lead to our magnificats.

Yet there is a light I love, and a food, and a kind of embrace when I love my God — a light, voice, odor, food, embrace of my innerness, where my soul is floodlit by light which space cannot contain, where there is sound that time cannot seize, where there is a perfume which no breeze disperses, where there is a taste for food no amount of eating can lessen, and where there is a bond of union that no satiety can part. 
That is what I love when I love my God.

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