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God of the Always

 

Written by: Bro. Brian Poulin

 

October 2, 2021 – Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels  

 

I spent a lot more time than usual thinking about the equinox this year. I’m usually not too sophisticated about the change of seasons… I figure that summer must last from Memorial Day to Labor Day, winter includes any month in which I might reasonably see snow in New England, and autumn and spring are what’s left. It’s an imperfect understanding, but good enough.

 

Two things were different this year though. First, for whatever reason, I am more sensitive than usual to the days getting shorter. That aspect of winter might actually bother me a bit this year. Second, I just happened to be planning a prayer service for the morning of September 22 and was looking for whether that day itself had any inherent theme worth examining.

 

What a wonderful occasion to explore both wholeness and ambivalence! This day that contains day and night in equal measure can also remind us of the summer warmth we leave behind and the winter chill to come, even as we enjoy the beauty of fall colors and the gifts of harvest. On the thematic level at least, the equinox has it all. And if we can consecrate this symbolic day of balance and fullness to God, don’t we implicitly acknowledge God’s domain over the year that has already past as well as the remaining year to come?

 

Much to the delight of our two Marist novices in the USA, Bro. Steve Kappes recently shared that one preferred mode of prayer for him is to open his senses to the world around him and give God thanks by building on a canticlefrom the Book of Daniel that appears in the Liturgy of the Hours.  Yes, “fire and heat, bless the Lord,” and “cold and chill, bless the Lord,” but as Bro. Steve goes out for an afternoon walk in Miami, he can also add “little lizard, bless the Lord,” and “welcome shade, bless the Lord.” 

 

Our novices (who were actually postulants then) admiringly quoted Steve for at least the next several weeks: “Little lizard, bless the Lord.” All of creation can inspire wonder in us, if we only let it. So what better time than equinox to remember that God is in the night every bit as much as in the day. God is in the warmth and in the cold alike. God is in our times of safety and in our times of danger.

 

There is indeed a season for everything. Killing and healing, mourning and dancing, rending and sewing, all of these things will happen, and God will be present when they do. Atrocity is no more foreign to our God than miracle. This is not to say that God ordains evil, but rather that he does not abandon us to it. He remains the true God even in the face of the ungodly and remains our God who will stay with us through it all, no matter what.

 

There is indeed a season for every possible thing, whether it be a cause for lament or rejoicing. Because ours is a God of all these seasons though, we can consider his unconditional presence with our own attitude of unconditional hope. 

 

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This week’s ‘ear candy’ provides a beautiful illustration of hope, purpose, and the possibility of healing action even in the face of travesty. It points not only to the presence of God in hard times but also how we can cooperate in manifesting God’s loving presence. The ‘brain food’ is similar in some ways, insofar as it portrays the response of some religious organizations to a recent border crisis.

 

Ear Candy: “The Flower” by Michael Franti & Spearhead (featuring Victoria Canal)

Brain Food: “Faith Groups Band Together to Help Haitians Camped at US-Mexico Border” by Nuri Vallbona

 

Come back on the first Saturday of next month for a new post!

 

 Previous Posts:

2021

Sep 4 – Time Unchained

Aug 7 – Pray for Us

Jul 3 – Real Presence

Jun 5 – Bag of Squirrels

May 1 – Brothers

Apr 3 – Plan B

Mar 6 – Times 40

Feb 6 – Testimony

Jan 2 – Unconditional

2020

Dec 5 – Gestation

Nov 7 – Where Hope Lives

Oct 3 – Enough

Sep 5 – Assembly Required

Aug 1 – Stumped

July 4 – Bitter and Sweet

June 6 – Fire

May 30 – Brother’s Keeper

May 23 – Remote

May 16 – Getting By

Apr. 25 – Thank God It’s Saturday

Apr. 18 – Joseph’s Fiat

Apr. 11 – Bells & Sirens

Apr. 4 – Adaptation

Mar. 28 – Guest Column

Mar. 21 – Moving Forward

Mar. 14 – Reality Check

Mar. 7 – Soar

Feb. 29 – Hiking Lessons

Feb. 22 – Love in the Desert

Feb. 15 – Beautiful Life

Feb. 8 – Bad Science

Feb. 1 – All Shall Be Well

Jan. 25 – Let Somebody Love You

Jan. 18 – Extraordinary Time

Jan. 11 – L’Chaim!

Jan. 4 – Decisive

2019

Dec. 28 – Can’t Alone

Dec. 21 – Unexpected Gifts

Dec. 14 – No Room

Dec. 7 – End of the World

Nov. 30 – Elective Unpleasantness

Nov. 23 – Always Greater

Nov. 16 – Coloring Book

Nov. 9 – Justice and Mercy

Nov. 2 – Together in Loneliness

Oct. 26 – Gently

Oct. 19 – Flow

Oct. 12 – In This Place

Oct. 5 – Why Understanding

Sep. 28 – Stone to Flesh

Sep. 21 – Let God

Sep. 14 – Passion

Sep. 7 – Hermanos

Aug. 31 – 525,600

Aug. 24 – Pathway

Aug. 17 – Crazy Together

Aug. 10 – To Bridge

Aug. 3 – Stripes

July 27 – Ghost Town

July 20 – Adrift

July 13 – Borders without Borders

July 6 – Little Bit at a Time

June 29 – Holy Dissent

June 22 – Old Kentucky Home

June 15 – Steamer Trunk

June 8 – Squad

June 1 – Legacy

May 25 – Live like You’re Loved

May 18 – Purity of Heart

May 11 – Builders and Creator

May 4 – Value Proposition

Apr. 27 – Vital Signs

Apr. 20 – Let It Be Real

Apr. 13 – Meet Self

Apr. 6 – Let Go of the Best

Mar. 30 – Thirst

Mar. 23 – Back Home

Mar. 16 – Say Goodbye

Mar. 9 – Garden and Desert

Mar. 2 – In Transit

Feb. 23 – Wealth

Feb. 16 – In Place

Feb. 9 – Each and All

Feb. 2 – Not Disneyland

Jan. 26 – Pilgrim People

Jan. 19 – Waking Dream

Jan. 12 – Called and Sent

Jan. 5 – Divine Encounter

2018

Dec. 29 -- Resolution

Dec. 22 – Room for Love?

Dec. 15 – Humbug!

Dec. 8 – Let It Begin with Me

Dec. 1 – Driven by Love

Nov. 24 – What Manner of King

Nov. 17 – Stranger

Nov. 10 – I Need Help to Be Holy

Nov. 3 – Fully Alive

Oct. 27 – Behind the Curtain

Oct. 20 – Questions. Answers?

Oct. 13 – Stumble & Fall

Oct. 6 – Young World

Sep. 29 – Defend Us in Battle

Sep. 22 – The Taste of Water

Sep. 15 – God’s Plan

Sep. 8 – Life Finds a Way