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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Seeing Myself as God Does

Posted in a discussion forum, where we are asked once weekly to share what we are learning from God.  I wanted to be able to find this again.
(Most Thursdays, I have all day meetings, and cannot respond, much less think clearly enough to write something thoughtful about lessons God is teaching me. I'm sure you know... that when folks are commenting during the day, they may be reading/catching up after hours.  Thanks to all for giving me great things to read!)
I'll break from lurking with a couple of stories about how we see ourselves and how God does--both from recent Sundays:

1.  Several Sundays ago, we had a visiting priest (ours is in Poland visiting family and going to EuroCup games).  His was a very deliberate cadence which, combined with my unfamiliarity with his voice, caused me to hear more closely some parts of the Mass that I might otherwise have overlooked.
Our small chapel was packed, to the point that the choir area was filled with latecomer families, most of whom had small children.  I, as the soloist at 9 AM, usually have the whole area to myself, so I'm not used to excluding noises from kids from my mind as I try to be a full, conscious and active participant.
Toward the end of the Mass, visiting Father prayed these words: "Make us to be more like your apostles..."
At the exact same moment, the two boys behind me began to argue over positions on the pews, whispering loudly "That's my seat! No, that MYYY seat!"
Some of you may already be smiling, as I was, immediately.  We ARE so often, very much like the Apostles--James and John in Mark 10, to be specific.

God loved and chose those men, and He has chosen me, despite my tendency to be more like disciples arguing over seats in the Kingdom, than like anyone in Hebrews 11.

2.  Last Sunday, the Responsorial Psalm was #139.  It's been a favorite of mine since back in high school, when our youth director made us memorize it as a prerequisite to going on a hiking trip.  I've spent years pondering the depth of intimate knowledge and love God has for us, and how there is nowhere we can go to get away from Him.
I'd spent some time thinking about the "fearfully and wonderfully made" part, but less on the "for *I* am..." part of verse 14.
In the Responsorial Psalm, for those unfamiliar with the tradition, the Cantor sings a line or two from the Psalm, which the congregation then repeats.  After singing 1-2 verses, everyone again repeats the initial verse/phrase.  For last Sunday, I stood in front of the congregation and sang, 6 times, the phrase "I praise You, for I am wonderfully made."  The musical setting really emphasized "praaaaaaise" and "WONNNNderfully".
After the first time I sang it, I briefly wondered about the irony of singing those lines. I'd just had another post-50 birthday, had spent the week dealing with blood sugar issues and migraines, and just didn't feel anything like someone who is/was "wonderfully made." God granted me the grace, as the song continued, to realize that I was praying the insight He'd given the Psalmist--who am I to argue with "Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well"?

God, who knows my "downsitting and mine uprising", causes me to sing: "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

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