Daily praying and seeking leads to a beholding of God's beauty and mystery
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
One of the first things I do when Advent begins is get my CD with George Handel’s musical masterpiece, “The Messiah”, and insert it into the player in my car. I listen to it as I drive throughout the season. My favorite part is when the soloist proclaims the words from the prophet Isaiah: “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into a high mountain ...." and concludes with the words, “Behold your God.”
As Advent was beginning this year, the only thing I felt was the surrounding darkness, the darkness of war, political unrest, tension and division in the Church, our culture’s obsession with materialism and consumerism. A few days before the First Sunday of Advent I made a decision. Every day I would write in my journal something that constituted a “God moment”. Surprisingly, I have discovered something to record every day. These moments have consisted of the amazing beauty of creation, inspiring words printed on a card, the support of another Sister, the friendliness of people at the store or the YMCA, special encounters with people in need of help. I have seen the face of God in so many ways.
I have especially experienced God moments during my time of mediation each morning. I love to picture Mary’s shocked expression as she receives the Angel Gabriel’s message, or Mary’s and Elizabeth’s glowing faces as they share their stories of God’s interaction with them, or Joseph’s questioning countenance as he attempts to uncover the mystery laid before him, or John the Baptist’s rugged look as he calls the people to repentance and conversion. These times of prayer have enabled me to get the feel of those people who prepared the way of the Lord. I have come to see how beautifully and mysteriously God has appeared in this world in the course of human events.
The world today needs visual evidence of God’s indwelling. The song from Handel’s “Messiah” concludes with the commission: “Say unto the cities of Judah: ‘Behold your God.’” But how can we invite others to behold Him unless we have first beheld Him?