March 1999 Reveal Your Presence to us.   St. John of the Cross


Recently, a friend shared with me what it was like to have an almost near Life experience. Some people would refer to this as a near-death experience. In the aftermath of this ordeal, she said that, upon reflection, she was not consumed with the idea that she had unfinished business or with the thought that there was some great and special mission summoning her. Instead, quietly and gently, she felt called by God to experience the more of life, the more of God.

As Fr. Rahner points out, Easter is not a celebration of a past event. The Easter alleluia is not just for what was but for what continues to happen. The alleluia moves forward to its goal and carries us with it. The Risen One moves among us every day, everywhere, pouring out graces, looking at us and at all of nature, leaving traces of God's image in us, clothing all with the beauty of God. In this ambience, John of the Cross has the soul cry out, "Reveal your presence to us."

In the Easter liturgy, the Risen One announces with joy and expectation, "I arose and am still with you, alleluia." The soul cries out, "You rest your hand upon me, alleluia. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, alleluia!" Easter, then, opens up the more of life, hoping that we will desire and look for this more.

But concretely, on a given Monday or Tuesday, how does one get in touch with the more of life? First of all, it is important to desire it, to long for it, to live with our eyes and hearts open to the continuing revelations of God. John of the Cross has the soul going out seeking its Love, heading for the mountains and the watersides, not pausing to gather flowers. Although John attaches his own meaning to flowers, perhaps it would be very good for us these days to pause and notice the flowers, to look for the traces of God as God passes by.

The more of life is in the small moment we take from our busy-ness to commune with the beauties of nature around us. The more of life is in the taste of fresh apple pie, the coo of a baby, the light touch of someone who cares, the brief conversation with an acquaintance. The unasked for lick of a new puppy reveals the traces of God, as does the violet growing in the crack of the sidewalk. The more of life is revealed in the physical ministering to an infirmed loved one. The traces of God as God passes by are also in our tears and darkness. Very likely, it is at times like these that we most palpably experience the tender hand of God resting upon us. Truly, such knowledge is too wonderful.

So, the Easter that took place way back is still happening. It is an Easter continually surrounding us with hope, carrying us into the more of God.

The Risen One has become the heart of the world, the More of Life, the world's secret and inward strength. The Living One has not gone away, but lives among us like the sunlight of day and the air we breathe. This Risen One, so like us, is the eternal restlessness of my heart and of the world. Because of that first continuing Easter, God's story is now lived out in me. Such knowledge is too wonderful!

By: Sister Mary Jo Loebig