Saturday, December 31, 2005

1 by one!

Okay I will admit it, confess it, fess up to it, own it, say it: sometimes I meditate upon – or perhaps, more accurately, get distracted by, the oddest things!

Mind you, when comes to being distracted in prayer, a holy old priest told me once that we do well to remember a story he recalled from the life of St. Teresa of Avila: seems she was complaining to the Lord about His failure to protect her from distractions in prayer. The Lord’s response was:  “ My daughter this is when your prayer most pleases me!”  Apparently a rather astounded Teresa asked how that possibly could be so, to which the Lord said: “ Because you persevere.”

Of course there is the obvious danger of rationalizing here!

That said my distraction today has been the number 1 and the word one, more than nothing yet less than; symbol of the singular yet indicator of a unity – One True God, One Holy Trinity; one person, one human race!

It was my custom over the years as a parish priest, and something I continue as a poustinik, to spend the night of New Year’s eve with a period of adoration with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament { and I was always humbled by the number of parishioners who would forego traditional parties in favour of prayer } praying for the whole world, one country name after the other.

From Afghanistan, whose people still suffer much and where the Holy Gospel still is rarely heard all the way to Zimbabwe, a nation whose people also suffer very much.

One by one.

Bangladesh or Yemen; Cambodia or Uzbekistan, no matter how one goes through the nations by name so many, many peoples live in some form of poverty, oppression, war, terrorism, and whose populations, by and large, remain un-baptized.

However when we name Canada, the United States of America, Russia, France, countries where the majority of the population is baptized we encounter rivers of blood in which countless of our brothers and sisters die before they are born.

One abortion is evil, innumerable abortions: culture of death.

One by one.

Egypt where the Child dwelt among us until it was safe to return and, one year after the other, each Passover brought Him closer to the one hour, His hour, the hour of our Redemption.

One Baptism.

There is the one nation of Vanuatu which is actually an 83 island archipelago. One island is named: Pentecote, the French word for Pentecost.

Most of the people are Christian, but the shared one Baptism exists in more than one denomination.

In the Holy Gospel according to St. John, the one Lord Jesus our Redeemer prays  to the one Father His cry for unity: I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, so that they may all be one, as You, Father, and in Me and I in You, that they may also be in Us, that the world may believe You sent Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave Me, so that they may be one, as We are one. I in them and You in Me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that You sent Me, and that You loved them even as You loved Me. Father, they are Your gift to Me. I wish that where I am they also may be with Me, that they may see My glory that You gave Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know You, but I know You, and they know that You sent Me. I made known to them Your name and I will make it known, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them and I in them.  
[ 17:20-26]

No comments: