The Heavenly Gift

12 April 2024
Sr. Cheryl Rose

The Heavenly Gift

Lately I’ve been thinking about the pure goodness and power of all the other manifestations of the Creator—all the powerful non-human pieces of creation.  Pondering with concern all the forces or experiences of darkness that seem to be ramping up all over our world—outright lies, disrespect, disregard for human life, domination, greed, violence, and injustice of every kind—I thought of all the rest of creation.  I felt the purity of being, the innate inherent goodness of all other forms of creation….trees faithfully always being TREE, rocks solidly being ROCK, and mountain…each animal, each bird and bee, being fully its true self.  To say nothing of the brush of air molecules in breeze and gust, or precious H2O in rain and river and ocean. “We need their pure energy and LIGHT, their trueness of identity to help us swell the flow of goodness as we face the forces of darkness.” Thomas Merton meditated on a tree—that never tries to be ANYthing other than a tree—radiating only its divinely created identity.  All the vastness of creation reflects the fullness of God’s creative energy. A couple weeks ago we heard again, at the Easter Vigil, our familiar story of creation—God bringing Light out of Darkness:  “And God saw that it was good.”

And then the MIRACLE—that stopped America in its tracks!  The awesome total solar eclipse!!  This astronomical event lifted us from our small, consuming worries and distractions, our infighting and bickering, our frantic and frustrated attempts to control or prevent. Suddenly our faithful friendly satellite obscured our mother star, And we were hushed and brought to our knees as we experienced our small place in the VAST expanse of the cosmos. Millions and millions were silenced by the eclipse.  All of nature was  STILLED to a reverent silence.  All the rushing humans STOPPED, ran outside from their homes and offices and hospitals—and  put on their glasses so they could SEE—see things from a cosmic perspective!  It felt like a spiritual experience to me, and I saw that so many of my fellow humans had experienced the same kind of sacred moment. We were surprised—stopped and transported for a moment to our real place, our real home.  We were collectively lifted from our small-plane problems and projects and carried into a glimpse of the BIG picture.

What a great cosmic grace we were given!!  What a healing, humbling experience for bruised and arrogant egos!!  Ah yes! We are riders on one planet, circling ONE star among billions in ONE galaxy among trillions, flying rapidly through deep space!!

May we never forget this wake-up call! May we never lose the hushed awareness of a greater power. May this once-in-a-lifetime few hours carry us through our whole life with a humble awareness of our place in the VAST universe!! May we choose to pour our cup of goodness into this vast flow of the Creative Heart of God!