Much of my adult life has been spent thinking about human life and life with God. There is a difference between the two. But, every now and then, the life with God meets and interacts with our life. It is not weird or goofy. It is real.
When reason for a moment stands over mystery and memories speak deep from within and hope is born once again then excuse me — I believe.
What is interesting is that it is usually the small things, the events that catch you from the blind side, those times when you are least prepared that revelation occurs and gives greater meaning and purpose to life. Great causes or big beliefs do not necessarily carry meaning apart from their roots and connection within the trudge of the ceaseless daily rounds of our everyday, ordinary existence.
It is only on certain occasions that we muster the courage to celebrate major proclamations or events like Memorial Day, or a graduation, or a 50th wedding anniversary as a reminder of a milestone or benchmark. They are often celebrations that recognize the sacrifice, the long march, the tedious pressure, or the terrific commitment, making it all worthwhile. Such occasions are like heralds that call out the slumbering reaches and recesses of our consciousness with a profound message that moves us just beyond the edge of our usual awareness.
You know, the church and our liturgical calendar celebrates such occasions. For example, on Pentecost we set aside a day and a season that rejoices in the gift of the Holy Spirit who breathes life into our human spirit. I say “life” because it really is life.
The Holy Spirit gives us a New Life. It is not a biological, physical life but a life with God that is an eternal, interior, non-material life. It is a life from above. In other words, it is a supernatural or big life, that is greater than and not limited to the five senses of this life.
Many people today consider themselves spiritual but not religious. For those of us who are both religious and spiritual we find our awareness of God formed and shaped by the Holy Spirit. Obviously, there are countless spiritualities these days but it is the Holy Spirit who actually unites and relates us to the will of God, which in turn, gives us both faith and reason. Faith has to do with trust. Reason has to do with reality.
This Pentecost, Mary and I were able to join our granddaughter in her First Communion. In talking with her afterwards, we discussed why this “first” Communion was a different experience from all the other first experiences in her life. It was apparent she has started the age of reason and her trust in Jesus is real and a spiritual reality.
We changed clothes and went out and played T-ball. It could have been just another, every day, ordinary time. Yet for our household it was an extraordinary occasion that celebrated Pentecost. In the backyard and from the blindside I was made aware again of the Holy Spirit who gives New Life to a seven-year-old, and yes, even a seventy-year-old.