Wednesday, August 28, 2013

dream day: confirming the goodness already there

What a beautiful and powerful connection between yesterday's feast of St. Monica, patron of mothers, and today's feast of St. Augustine--the son for whom she prayed, cried, and no doubt, begged heaven. 

Even the liturgical readings for today follow immediately yesterday's verses, in both Paul's letter to the Thessalonians and the Gospel of Matthew. And once again, we repeat Psalm 139:

You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Motherhood affects the very fabric of a person. Not only is a woman’s physical appearance modified forever by pregnancy and childbirth, but there is also an invisible yet undeniable mark left on her spirit by that experience. 

A human life, known by God even before the moment of conception, is born of her, through her, making her all at once and forever a mother. Much like Mother Mary's connection to Jesus, blessed Monica recognized Augustine's good heart as only a mother can know the child she carries within her womb.

It reminds me of something I read this morning:
Job is described at the outset as a good and just man. It seems fair to say that this saga does not create Job's faith; rather, it identifies and names it. His troubles don't make Job into a saint. They confirm the goodness already there. (Holiness = reunited to the whole = goodness = what is.)
~Richard Rohr, 
"Job and the Mystery of Suffering, Spiritual Reflections"

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[word cloud of Martin Luther King's full text, via]
I have a dream today. 
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. 
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
Read full text of Martin Luther King's  "I have a dream" speech here.