Thursday, August 29, 2013

Alert! The "Unexpected Hour"

Since "listening" is what spirituality is all about, we need to be alert to the day and the hour as Jesus has mentioned to his disciples.  In St. Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, we are give some insight into the need for our being away of the movements of the Holy Spirit in our lives: not on special days, but each day of our lives.

We can become more aware of our time on this earth in a very positive manner if we take some time each day to recall how the Holy Spirit may have impacted our lives that day or the previous day.  It was for this reason that St. Ignatius incorporated the "daily examination of conscience" for his community.  So often we come to that exercise with thought of our sinfulness.  Ignatius pointed out that the "examen" could also help us in our efforts to better know ourselves also be recognizing how the Holy Spirit has given us opportunities to grow in wisdom and grace just as he must has assisted Jesus at different moments in his earthly life.  Reflectively looking for these moments in our daily lives, provides us with the opportunity to give thanks to God.  When we pray each day, do we give thanks to God for all he has granted us?  The daily examen offers us that time to recognize the hand of God in our lives probably in moments far from what we expected.  It is then that we can be more specific in our giving thanks to God for his goodness to me.

Furthermore, attentive to the daily examen, we might quickly and more frequently aware that the Holy Spirit is with us at every moment in our lives.  He is "alive" in our lives always.

Until we move from this life back to the Kingdom of God, there should always be that awareness that reminds us of this one grace, if we can keep it positively situated in our lives:  the unexpected hour, that time when God will call back to himself.  The hour glass can remind us of that moment when God will call us.  If I have remembered the graces God has given me through the actions of the Holy Spirit in my life, then there should be no fear of "THAT" moment when God call us to himself.  We should be joy-filled because we will have learned how great God is and how marvelous his Kingdom must be.  

Like the US Marines, we should be "Semper Paratus" or "Semper Perata"!