Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sight for the inly blind

Today is the feast of St Lucy who appears in the Gregorian Canon, but it is also that of St Odile of Alsace, a Benedictine Nun. Both of these saints have patronage of the blind and the partially sighted. They are also my go-to saints for the times when my eyesight is playing me up. I won't go into the gory (literally) details of how these two ladies obtained their patronage, but I am grateful to God for their example and for their prayers.

I do pray for the healing of my eyesight, but I pray rather more for my interior sight than I do that of the rather idiosyncratic orbs in my head. I fully expect Our Lord to heal my eyesight at some point but I would rather that he help me see the way ahead.

As I was baptising a sweet little girl on Sunday, I gave her the edge of my stole to "lead" her to the font. This was a largely symbolic gesture as our chapel is too small to lead anyone physically, though I pray that people are spiritually led to Christ there. As I gave her my stole, I remembered that my stole effectively functions with God the same way that reins function for the parent of a two-year-old. If I am being pulled by Christ, then anyone who holds onto my stole is pulled with me. My stole thus allows me to be sure that I am led by Christ in this state of blindness to Him.

Of course, we live by faith, the hope for things which are unseen. Our senses are not sufficiently sensitive to pick up the fullness of our existence. The problem of Consciousness cannot be solved by science - at least not compellingly - for science is restricted to the narrow set of the observable. I maintain that the evidence of my own experience is sufficient for me to believe in the existence of God. There are those who will accuse me of being deluded, but the question can be turned around. How do we know that atheism is not a delusion? How do we know that empirical evidence of the observable is sufficient to describe reality? I know that God exists, but I cannot give a compelling knock-down argument because my knowledge comes from within me, even from places within me that are unobservable to me. There can be no knock-down argument, for we are called to God by Love, not by Knowledge.

Yet, I desire very much to be able to see clearly. I want to see God's hand in things. I want to behold His glory. I want to see the sheer magnificence of His Creation, behold His angels standing with me at the Mass. Oh how I miss the point!!

It's not my eyes that need to be opened, nor my eyesight that needs to be made clear, wonderful though this may be. It's the eyes of my heart that need the cataracts removed. Obviously I have been blessed with some sight of God within my heart, or I would not be able to appreciate the beauty of His word, yet what causes the problem is marrying the inward sight with the outward. In my heart, I know that Christ is present within the Sacred Elements at the Mass, but I cannot see that with my eyes. That's deliberate on God's part, I think. The recognition of Christ's presence in the Mass is a gift for those who, in their blindness, call out to God like blind Bartimaeus. For those who do not want to see, God permits that, preferring the free choice of His children to revealing Himself in glory unequivocally and thus forcing Himself on them before the Day of Reckoning.

Today, I pray for all who suffer with their eyesight whether inwardly or externally. I pray that they may be able to see God's goodness and rejoice in it. I pray that the eyes of the world may become more attuned to the light of God's presence. And I ask St Lucy and St Odile to pray with me and for me, that I, too, may see ever more clearly the good things of God.

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