Fr John’s Reflection 16th Sunday of the Year

16th Sunday of the year – 23rd July

Brothers and sistersThe Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groaning.. And the one who searches hearts knows what the intention of the Spirit is, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will”                                                                                                          Romans 8.26-27

This passage of scripture particularly struck me when I was reading through the Gospel about the darnel and the wheat. In many cases we put in a great deal of effort into making sure that we accomplish something in our spiritual life. There is a sense that we need to get it right and line up everything in a row.

In this scenario we put a lot of responsibility on ourselves and seeking God on our own terms. However, there are times when at the end of the day we struggle to make sense of what is happening in the world. Those times when we seemed to solve all the problems of the world over a cup of coffee seemed to have disappeared into the mist of the day. We look at what has happened and what is happening and we seek to make sense of it all. We want God to discover us rather than it all being about ourselves.

This is why in the examen at the end of the day we need to be present to God if only for a few moments. I would propose that it can be done quite simply by seeking to discover to what God wants us to be present:

  •  For what are we thankful?
  • Where do we discover ourselves becoming most alive?
  • What deadened us or drained us of energy?
  • What should we seek to be present to tomorrow?

This is not about labouring over the day but rather seeing what floats to the surface and of what God wishes us to be most aware.. The sense of being present to God in this way incarnates our faith not just based on our own abilities and insights but on how God is drawing us deeper into a relationship of life and love.

Fr. John Armstrong

“The intellectual quest is exquisite, like pearls and coral. But it is not the same as the spiritual quest. The spiritual quest is on another level altogether. Spiritual wine has a subtler taste. The intellect and the senses investigate cause and effect. The spiritual seeker surrenders to wonder.” (Rumi Wisdom; trans. Timothy Freke)