Posted On December 27, 2009

Hallowed Be Thy Name

There I was about to leave at the end of my prayer time when I noticed an elderly woman deep in prayer. I could hardly take my eyes off her. She was mesmerizing. I still can’t believe that I went and did something I would normally never do. I mean I was looking on eternity. How could I pass up the opportunity? So I went up and nudged her gently. “Excuse me,” I began, “I couldn’t help but notice that you were praying…” She looked up a little  embarrassed and said, “Oh, yes I suppose I was praying the way my father taught me…”  “Your father?… he must have been quite the man,” I said. “Oh yes he was. He was a good man, and he taught me that every time we pray we enter into God’s plan for our lives.” Again she smiled a little embarrassed. “He told me, ‘God made us all to be happy with him forever, to share in his own life and love.’ ” I had heard this many times before, but it never seemed so real before. I just nodded. “ ‘But,’ my father continued, ‘God’s got a problem. He’s made us all to be saints, but there are so few. What we really need are saint-makers, those who can help others to become saints.’”

I couldn’t have agreed more, but I didn’t want to interrupt so I just continued to listen. “ ‘And the way we become saints is knowing our Father and Jesus Christ whom he sent, letting their love get inside us, and then showing that love to the whole world.’ ” I had never heard the meaning of life put so well, but I could tell it still wasn’t my time to speak. “That’s why my father taught me to pray with the three H’s. Do you know the three H’s?” I looked at her dumbfounded and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them.” She answered, “Oh, well I used to be in 4-H, and the three H’s are: Head” she said while touching her own head, “heart” and she placed her hand on her heart, and “hands” as she presented me her hands palm up. “So,” she continued, “first we can use our heads to focus on what we’re praying and who we’re praying to. We can taste and see the Lord. Just look at the tremendous risk he took to become a man willing even to die on the cross for us.” “That is pretty amazing,” I admitted… “Yes,” she replied, “he went way beyond what was necessary to show us the depths of his love. And that’s not all, when we think about that, something happens to us. We’re touched in our hearts,” she said pointing to her heart. “It’s a great mystery, perhaps I cannot explain it. But it is as if God really does get inside us and show us who we were meant to be. You can imagine that that would fill anyone with great joy and excitement. To know that I was called to show the world something of what it means for God to be God. It’s incredible. That I can offer this divine spark that’s been placed inside me to the whole world, and that it can just flow out of me if I’ll let it, but so many of us don’t let it. We block it up with excuses and pretend like we’re being humble. Or other times we try to use our talents to manipulate the others to get something we want. Some people even use their talents to justify themselves for not helping the others, like St. Paul: I’m already righteous, so it’s ok if I go around hurting the others… Oh, if only we would realize that our gifts are for bringing peace and joy into the others’ lives. This is not pride. This is humility, humbly accepting the gifts the king grants us.

“You know, that’s what Mary did, isn’t it? What does she, the humble handmaid, say? ‘My soul magnifies the Lord.’ Wow, how does she do that? It’s so easy. She just lets his love shine through her to the others. She brings them closer to his love. You know, I think that’s what Jesus meant when he said to be salt and light. We’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Now he wants us to be like what we’ve seen so that others can taste and see also. How can we taste anything without salt? Or how can we see anything without light? We can’t. But if we’ve been touched by God and let that radiate out to the others, then maybe they too will be able to taste and see… maybe they too will be able to hear his voice. Ahh, perhaps these are just the ramblings of a poor old woman… but I do think it’s possible.” She looked up at me and smiled. I nodded in a state of total wonder. What could happen if I drank from the wellsprings of God’s infinite love, really let it get inside me and transform me, and then let that love shine out to the others? I mean really, is anything impossible for God? Since I didn’t know what else to say, I blurted out, “I can tell that your father must have been a very holy man.” “Yes,” she replied, “yes he was. I will never forget this phrase he always used to repeat night and day, ‘The glory of God is man fully alive. The glory of God is man fully alive. The glory of God is man fully alive…’ I say it to myself every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed. It seems to follow me throughout the whole day… It’s like no matter where I go, he is there with me, urging me to hallow the Lord’s name… That’s why I love Mass so much: Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours Almighty Father forever and ever. Amen.”

Fr. Scott

Concrete Resolution:
Consider one trait that God has shown towards us that we can share with the rest of the world and let it penetrate our hearts every day when we wake up and when we go to be so that it may follow us throughout the whole day.

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